How to find contentment in everyday life that leads to mindful happiness
In order to pursue happiness it is important to understand that each and every day is going to have a different focus as we grow and develop. During our lifetime we are faced with many goals and reasons behind them such as graduating college, getting a good job, completing a big project for work, etc. These goals tend to come with a taxing mental element known as psychic entropy. Psychic entropy occurs when we experience a decision overload along with many tasks in front of us with little to no organization behind them. As we approach our daily routines and what it looks like to have full awareness and consciousness of the responsibilities and tasks at hand, it is important to have a system in place for how we’re going to go about these duties. As you read this blog you will find useful tips on how to manage your time, control your consciousness/awareness and draw attention towards tasks and duties that align with your goals that keep you on track for success. This recipe for mindfulness will help aid in a natural byproduct of happiness as your mind and body reach a state of flow that helps you become awesome.
Before we get started, let’s review a few key terms that we will help us gain as much knowledge as possible from the information below.
Psychic Entropy – Mental loss of energy
Entropy – to be understood as a measure of disorder
Negentropy – When information that keeps coming into awareness is congruent with our goals, psychic energy flows effortlessly. And those who attain it develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals they themselves had chosen to pursue.
Flow – Being in flow brings purpose to the task at hand. In Order to obtain flow, one must become fully immersed in the task through full physical and mental capacity. In conjunction we may then use our awareness and mindfulness to fully engage in tiny achievements that lead to our goal.
What is Purpose?
It isn’t incredibly naive to expect that life has a coherent overall meaning. It is natural to see individuals with outstanding talents become very bored of daily mundane tasks that simply breech the potential of their being. As indirect tasks begin to consume one’s life we see that their conscious and awareness begins to fade as they no longer find use of their maximum mental and physical capacity that is required to be in a state of flow. As we set tasks that align with our goals then we will see an immediate correlation between a conscious state of flow and purpose. However, this takes time and effort to find our goals and then be able to set tasks in front of us that align with what we want to achieve. The meaning of the word meaning stands for identifying different words. That being said, to find “our” meaning of purpose one must evaluate the most important values around them and surround ourselves with tasks aligning with those values that will essentially lead to achieving our goals.
How can we control our consciousness/awareness and practice mindfulness?
- Having the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.
- Having capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse
- Having the ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system.
- Conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self (Ex: Organization, Timeline Daily Goals)
- Focus on external factors instead of factors that benefit the self directly
Always take time to make sure that your daily tasks and duties align with your goals. To maximize the direction of your tasks and goals always find a way to correlate them to 3 main goals in your life at that time. These can be a personal goal, professional or business goal and your great pumpkin goal. Your great pumpkin goal can be an event that you are training for or an audition in a play that you are trying to qualify for. This is something outside of your daily “job life” that you can find a passionate connection in which you can achieve flow.
The concentration of the flow experience
Clear goals and daily timeline duties can provide immediate feedback. This leads order to consciousness, including the enjoyable condition of psychic negentropy.
The battle is not against the self, but against the entropy that brings disorder to consciousness. This is not to say that you will not struggle to achieve the things you want in life because that is not the case. However, when we can take a step back and appreciate the struggle of what is leading us to success then we can experience flow to an even higher standard.
According to the physiology of fitness, temporarily exhausting a muscle should lead to increased muscle size or improved ability to use fuel. The same is true for willpower. Try controlling one thing that you aren’t used to controlling, and aim to do it every day. Like physical exercise, this act of self-control can be uncomfortable at first, but over time it is no longer a struggle. The willpower muscle has learned a new skill, and with practice, the act of self-control is less likely to deplete willpower. If all acts of willpower reflect a single strength, then training any individual act of self-control should strengthen all acts of self-control.
Strengthening your Willpower/Awareness
Tell yourself, “I am the type of person that ___________”
- Strengthen your “ I won’t” Power
- Strengthen your “I will” power
- Strengthen your self-monitoring
The Limits of Willpower
Research shows that willpower is inherently limited. No matter how physically fit we are, exerting ourselves inevitably leads to exhaustion. The same is true of inner strength: self-control depletes willpower in much the same way that exercise temporarily depletes physical power.
Because willpower is limited, each act of self-control is a win-lose effort, helping in the immediate situation but making us more likely to lose control later. Refraining from gossiping at work makes it more difficult to hit the gym after work. Resisting the impulse to splurge at your favorite store makes it more difficult to turn down dessert. This means that it’s important to set priorities and to give ourselves a break on the things that aren’t at the top of the list.
How can you make healthy choices without depleting willpower? “You don’t want to be standing in front of the fridge saying you don’t have a clue what to eat. The weakest moment of self-control is when you’re hungry and tired. Too much choice tends to overwhelm us. If you have to make a lot of choices, you’ll deplete your self-control.”
Likewise with exercise, when you’re feeling strong, set up a weekly date to meet a friend at the gym. Commit and just show up—no choice and no willpower needed.
The idea that willpower is inherently limited doesn’t mean you’re doomed to self-control failure. A strength model of willpower gives you a realistic way to plan for success. Try the following:
- Because willpower is limited, it’s important to set reasonable goals and priorities. Conserve your willpower for what really matters.
- Forgive temporary setbacks. A single mistake doesn’t mean you are weak. It may just mean you’ve already succeeded to the limits of your current ability, and now you deserve a rest or reward to restore your strength.
- Recognize that willpower is not “all in the mind,” and supply your mind-body with the fuel it needs to face life’s challenges. This fuel includes rest, a healthy diet and a steady supply of positive experiences.
- Understand how the demands of your job, family and other relationships may interfere with your ability to stick with a health or fitness program. Look for ways to reduce stress to support any major life change.
- Conserve or bypass willpower by focusing on other strengths: planning, commitment and positive motivation.
Shawn Reece BS, EP-C, USAW1