"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
– Leonardo Da Vinci
My favorite part of the day is the early morning. I love how peaceful the silence of early mornings are, and seeing the sun rise everyday is definitely something to live for. I wake up at about six each morning, and I love it! Waking up early makes for a much more productive day.
I actually want to get up sometime between 5:30 and 5:45…
I’ve always been an excellent procrastinator, so good that I kept putting off developing habits to overcome procrastination. One day it just clicked how much I hated doing it, and I’d had enough. I’ve been improving myself in various ways over the years, but I was still horribly inefficient with my time. I had to find a way to kick the bad habit of procrastination; the habit that felt like a natural talent to me. I did some reading on the subject, and wasn’t exactly inspired by any one piece of writing. There was however, one suggestion that put me on the right path: each time I’m about to put something off, take note and ask myself why I want to.
I started with that in mind, and that helped me to become more aware of my procrastination. I often found that the answer to my own question was something simple and irrational. Usually I would choose to put something off because I felt like relaxing instead, or there was something else on my mind that I wanted to read up on, and of course I just didn’t want to do whatever the task was.
Something that’s taken me a long time to grasp, is being consciously present in the moment. I’ve always found it easy and appealing to retreat into the worlds created by my mind; I like to imagine and contemplate a great many ideas. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, so long as I still take the time to enjoy what I have around me. After realizing that there are superb benefits to being conscious of even the smallest things – especially the small things, actually – I’ve made an effort every day just to awaken my senses, and take in my environment.
Being mindful is about inciting our senses and using them to focus on the moment. How often do we get lost in multitasking, the stress of work, or even TV? Taking just a moment to reflect on how often many of us really use all of our senses at any given moment, I believe you’ll be surprised. We move through life at a quick pace, not noticing what’s happening around us, not noticing the textures on our fingertips or the various colorful details in our surroundings.
We’ve become desensitized to life.
There’s not much more to say about being mindful, there’s no instruction manual to write, and anyone can and should try it. It’s really quite simple:
For any given task, focus on that alone and take in every detail through all of your natural senses. In a moment shared with someone you care about, be present and enjoy that time. When you are alone and have a few minutes free, look around you and take in the details of your surroundings; find something that’s breath taking in the most simple way.
I’ve always loved watching a good show, but in my various pursuits of better living, I realized that watching TV or movies for regular entertainment was just not going to cut it. Television and movies are great on occasion, but they have very little real value. When we watch a show or movie, our brain becomes inactive; it isn’t stimulated or even revitalized. I believe there’s a multitude of reasons why any given person would have trouble severing ties with TV, but from what I can tell, it really comes down to one thing: we don’t find anything specific to replace it with. Television is addicting and that makes it extremely difficult to give up, and like other addictions, it can be helpful to have a healthy replacement.