And I’m Choosing You
You are, Outstanding, Understand! And Yes, I’m talking to You.
The performance artist Marina Abramovic describes Mindfulness as a way of helping people find their way back to the Present.
It’s all part of the human condition though to try and make things incredibly difficult, starting for instance with trying to live our lives without purpose.
And anyway don’t they say, no pain no gain?
But don’t over complicate — You need to find your true purpose and Mindfulness could very well help.
Fast or Slow — You Choose
Mindfulness allows us to see through the forest of competing emotions, self-doubt and despair, to become open to experience — both pleasant and unpleasant — and maintain a connection with our intuition.
This is, of course, characteristic of what the behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman calls System 1 Thinking which he describes in his book Thinking Fast & Slow.
However, because Mindfulness also encourages us to become self-aware and self-observing, it is also a read across to his System 2 Thinking too — And it is this System 2 that drives the continuous monitoring of our behavior and provides the checks that, for example, keep us polite when we are angry and alert when we are driving at night.
Your Purpose in Life?
A big big question, but the practice of Mindfulness influences how individuals perceive their stress levels, emotional state, sense of control and even, their purpose in life.
So, what is your purpose in life?
I’m with Maya Angelou on this, who summed up her mission and purpose in life like so, “My mission in life is not to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”.
You may agree that’s not a bad starting point — But how might you go about finding your life’s purpose, if you haven’t already nailed it in some 30 second elevator pitch?
Do you float with the tide, or swim for a goal?
In another piece for Thrive Global I talk about how to Be The Pond — Sometimes though we actually need to float with the tide and take stock, regroup, or recharge our batteries — So, never ever be too hard on Yourself.
But how do you find a goal to swim for?
Every person is the sum total of their reactions and experience — inaction does not add to the sum — And as your experiences accrue you evolve and become a different person; each time with the potential for new and different perspectives.
Use Mindfulness as a lens
To frame that fresh, new, different perspective and go create or locate your purpose — 4 Beats to the Bar.
But remember it’s not all black & white.
Move away from extremes that are an homage to your child-like all or nothing thinking, and towards a more adult solution-orientated grey thinking.
And here are My 4 beats to the Bar?
- Accept that you are not perfect: You never will be, but you are an authentic product of your experience — So embrace it and others will see that you are a work in progress, just like they are and this will make it easier to recognize and feel comfortable with what your true purpose is when you find or uncover it
- Embrace Stress: You need to be resilient to embark on a journey to find your purpose and resilient people don’t feel out of control, they embrace it — They are aware that these feelings arise because it’s something that they care about and you will need to care to find your true purpose — So, recognize any stress as simply a response to your body getting ready to do what it needs to do
- Accept what you can’t control: The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes — Frankly there’s so much that we can’t control, so it’s vital to be prepared to let Go and indeed embrace Failure if needs be, in order to find your purpose: Conversely it can be liberating to accept what you can control and basically that’s You — So DO!; &
- Look forward in hope, not back in anger: And do so with self-compassion — Accept that emotions are human and to err is human — Don’t waste your energy denying your emotions, or raking over the past — Instead choose to focus and visualize on what your purpose will look like in the future tense.
As Rene Lardeit de Lacharriere wrote, “Everything is foreseen except naturally, what is going to happen” — And you can take that to the Bank!
But for me the bottom line is quite simply, as you strive to find and make your purpose, strive to be Yourself.
And don’t just Dance Dance Dance, but really pay Attention, listen to the song beneath the words and then, Do Your Dance & Dance To Your Rhythm.
This piece is dedicated to @souljazzfunk
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at [email protected] and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd
Originally published at medium.com