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How to Live Consciously

Aug 17, 2007
In a busy world, it is very easy to live life without ever taking time to think about why you are doing what you are doing. When we are conscious of our choices, we can improve our attitudes, save time, and get more enjoyment out of life. In general, to live consciously is to disarm those attitudes and behaviors that sabotage life. It is to consider all the outcomes before making decisions so that those choices won't lead to situations you will live to regret.

You've heard someone say "I'm my own worst enemy." Maybe you've even said those words yourself. By indulging in behaviors and attitudes that sabotage our lives we truly can be our own worst enemies. Some examples of self-destroying behaviors we sometimes carry out include overeating, being a bully, being hard to get along with, or indulging in drugs and alcohol. Attitudes that sabotage our lives include worry, unforgiveness, anger, and low self esteem.

One important aspect of living consciously is to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Do you imagine the worst possible outcome when you are faced with a new challenge? Or do you hope for the best, or at least figure that it can't turn out all that bad? Do you blame others for all your problems, or do you believe that by making good decisions you can reverse the harm that has been done by poor decisions of the past?

Strangely, it has been found that when one makes the effort to live consciously, they are simply opening their eyes and minds up to common sense they have known all along. For instance, consider how tough it is to stand up to peer pressure. Many bad habits, like smoking, drug abuse, and even indulging in frequent unfulfilling relationships are learned from a peer group. These peers, in turn, are simply doing the things the culture says are needful for fun and happiness. What's wrong with this picture? No one is thinking! No one is taking the time to consciously weigh out the pros and cons of their behavior choices.

When we live without thinking, we are in effect living our lives by default. We are giving up our right to make our own choices. Just like a disinterested citizen, we are forfeiting our right to vote! Living consciously is deciding to make use of that wonderful privilege we have to choose for ourselves. It also frees us to have close relationships with others as we value their worth and right to a choice as well.

One aspect of living consciously is to become aware of the power in our words. The things we say to others can hurt them terribly, or encourage them to win against terrible odds. In the same way, we have a running dialog going on in our own heads. If we speak the right things to ourselves, we, too, can overcome great odds. If we speak the wrong things, we can squelch any chance we have for success or happiness.

Don't rush through life thinking like everyone else tells you to think. Don't base your decisions on the latest fad or on how your favorite movie star lives. Take the time to think for yourself and live consciously.
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