At times, we all feel dissatisfied.
At times, we all feel stuck.
When we think about our lives, many of us find that although aspects of it are fulfilling and fantastic, we still ask ourselves ‘is this it?’
The nature of life is such that we get carried away with our own busyness. Jobs become a big part of who we are and the way in which we manage our time means that we are constantly on the go. Our senses are being constantly bombarded with information. “We now consume about 100,000 words each day from various media, which is a whopping 350 percent increase, measured in bytes, over what we handled back in 1980,” explains the journalist Winifred Gallagher. With all this unrelenting and chaotic energy around us, it’s very easy to forget who we are and it’s very easy to forget that we have boundless opportunities around us every day.
Our brains love to save energy. Conscious thinking uses lots, so we therefore look for experiences that seem familiar so that they can be lived as a habit loop through our subconscious. We have all experienced driving a car and not remembering the journey. That’s because our subconscious took over, thus saving us energy.
A few years ago, in a survey conducted by an accident prevention charity, 80% of respondents admitted to going through life on autopilot: arriving at the end of a car journey with no memory of driving there, buying the same item twice without realising, even turning up at the office on a day off. Some days we arrive at work and the next time we are aware is when we leave. Days, weeks and even years can seem to fly by as our habit loops take over and live our lives for us. Although this is efficient on energy, it means that we often live in a dulled state and are therefore not as conscious or aware of ourselves and the world we live in.
Happiness guru Paul Dolan’s research showed that “the production process for happiness is how you allocate your attention.”
Our brain can have up to 50,000 thoughts a day. A recent Harvard University study using an app showed that human beings are by nature unfocused; we are not thinking about what we are doing. At any point, an average of 50 percent of the population is not focused on what they are doing.
To help free us from autopilot, Wake Up! is a series of activities I have designed, that are simple, easy and human to help you enjoy life that little bit more and break free from your habits.
I was thrilled to be invited to be a columnist at Psychologies Magazine for 2016 and to create The Great Wake Up! and explore different exercises with 12 Wake Up! bloggers. From Monday to Thursday each week, we will introduce a new experiment for you to have fun with and see if it makes you feel more conscious and alive. At the end of the week we will assess the findings to see if it has impact or not! This is not another thing on our ever growing to-do list, instead it’s a bit of play that helps us step back from our busy lives to enjoy who we are. These new experiments may well be so beneficial to our lives, that they become a part of who we are.
We are waking up!
To be part of this exciting project you can follow the experiments here and learn how to join the revolution for life liberation.
The Great Wake Up! Experiment Week One – Share The Love – I will tell tell one person a day what I love about them.