As Carl Jung once said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
In a recent study of 3,000 people, 96 percent reported living on autopilot. The researchers concluded that as our lives have become more frantic and the needle has moved ever more toward the “overwhelm,” autopilot has become our default mode. It’s led to an epidemic of subconscious decision-making, with the average person making 15 “mindless” decisions every day. This adds up 250,000 autopilot decisions over a lifetime.
When you’re on autopilot, you operate reflexively, habitually and mindlessly. Your decisions aren’t based on careful consideration, but by the instinctive desire to avoid short-term pain, hassle and discomfort and to maximize in-the-moment gratification, pleasure and security. Over time, however, those decisions can keep you from taking the very actions that would lead to a greater sense of connection, well-being and personal fulfillment.
The research backs this up. Seventy-five percent of people reported spending their time poorly, as though “sleep-walking” through their daily tasks and responsibilities.
Here are five steps so you can live by design and not by default.
1. Set your compass.
Vision = Power. Any area of your life in which you have no vision for what you most want (in your career/business, relationships, physical well-being, finances, lifestyle, etc.), you are like a ship adrift at sea, moving in whatever direction the prevailing winds and currents go. You can reclaim your power by creating a bold vision for your life. What do you want to do? How do you want to make your mark on the world? What dreams do you want to turn into reality? Only when you get clear about what you most want and why it matters at the deepest level can you get started on a life by design.
2. Write down your goals.
A vision without action is a mere dream. So break your vision down into shorter-term goals that enable you to focus your time, energy and resources most effectively. Set deadlines and schedule actions in your calendar to achieve the “vital few” lest it get crowded out by the “trivial many.”
3. Say no more often.
Saying yes is always easier (in the short term) than saying no. It’s what people want to hear! It’s also why people operating on autopilot reported saying yes to things they actually didn’t want to do approximately four times each day. Sometimes you’ve got to say no to the good to say yes to the great. So dial up your courage and start saying no far more than you have been, knowing that you aren’t serving anyone when you sell out on yourself.
4. Review often.
Set aside time each week to reconnect with your vision and the higher intention behind it (your why), to review your goals and to adjust your actions accordingly. As I wrote in my previous article, never be too attached to your plan. Flexibility is crucial.
5. Make mindfulness matter.
Living by design means living mindfully. The more mindful moments you have each day, the better decisions you’ll make. Mindfulness is a muscle, and the more you practice it, the more you strengthen your ability to connect deeply, perceive intuitively, and make decisions that are not guided by a short-term impulse but by a long-term commitment to living a life that truly matters.
In today’s accelerated world that has become increasingly anxious, hectic and superficial, never has it been more important for us all to disrupt our default mode; take a long collective breath; and make the very deliberate decision to live each moment more purposefully, less passively, more bravely, less fearfully.
The path of least resistance may feel safe, it may be comfortable and it may require little of you,
but it will never lead you to soul level success, Instead choose your best life with enduring relationships, prosperity at work and home & jumping out of bed every morning living your life on purpose to serve others and feel peace within your self.
Reach out to my email below if you want to get your thinking challenged and create the amazing life of your dreams. Every thing you want is literally a decision away.