In the modern world we are focused entirely on doing,
The emphasis is always on, what more can we do? What more can we have in this area of life? How can we add to our routines over here?
The implication is that adding more makes us happier or more fulfilled somehow. It's like we're trying to fill ourselves up. In reality, what we are actually doing is distracting ourselves.
From the fact that we don't know who we are, why we're here or why we're actually doig anything. Stop and think for a second and you will realise that you can't actually answer any of those questions, at least not solidly.
So with this article I'm delivering seven habits that make up a completely different strucure of living. One which is about doing less rather than more. Because clearly the structure we have at the moment, of searching for material success and external achievement, is not making anyone TRULY happy.
Paradoxically, being 'maximised' comes from doing fewer things, but doing them well.
Habit 1 : Meditation
This is something everyone should know and be able to do!
It should be taught to us in school!
Meditation is an essential life skill.
Meditation is as important to your happiness as money is to your survival.
It is truly fundamental to being fulfilled.
If you don't know how to do it, I will outline that in another article, but the basics are here:
Sit down comfortably for twenty minutes each day, close your eyes, watch your thoughts. Just observe them and breathe. After twenty minutes, open your eyes again.
You will have an incredible sense of silence and calm. That stillness, is what you've been running away from this whole time.
That stillness is always there, but you lose it in the clamour of mental noise that your brain is constantly bombarding you with. But reconnect to the stillness for just a little bit each day, and the benefits... oh, man.
I'll outline a small list of them here, all supported by scientific studies:
- 10x greater focus
- 50% increase in immunity to disease - more than athletes
- Enhanced ability to cope under stress
- 75% decrease in feelings of depression
- Improved memory and mood
- Balances your blood pressure
- Less likely to develop alzheimers/ dementia
- Reduced need for sleep ( feel more energised on less rest)
Overall, this one minor habit, of just 20 minutes a day, has incredible benefits accross the board.
For a list of 76 items check out this site:
This is a non-religious practice, so don't let any beliefs stop you. Meditation is incredible.
Habit 2: Knowledge
Read a book, watch a documentary, do some study. Become an expert in a chosen field.
This is so simple. Don't waste your time on soap operas or cheap reality TV, that stuff is not educating you.
Get interested in something and learn about it, and make it something actually beneficial to your life.
You're a human; your capacity to learn is what has allowed your race to come this far.
I would reccommend some of the following areas to learn about, as they have direct impact on the quality of your life:
- Happiness and the psychology behind it
-Wealth and finance
-Health and Nutrition
- Personal development
-Sexuality and relationships
Study in those areas will be really useful to you. It's time well spent rather than wasted.
Habit 3: Slow, Deliberate, Mindful Action
Max, it's all very well telling me to sit around and read and meditate, but what about when things actually need to get DONE?
I can't meditate myself a living, and reading won't get the housework done.
You're absolutely right.
But HOW are you doing those things?
Do they have your undivided attention, or is your mind on football while you're dusting? Are you walking to school worrying about the day, or are you focused on your walking, on your surroundings, on your body as you move?
Mindul action will make you present and stop your mind wandering.
When your mind wanders, it causes you a lot of grief because you begin to worry about things outside of your control.
Wake up! Is there anything wrong with the present moment? Is there anything RIGHT NOW that you can't handle, right in front of you?
Live and breather what is real, not what your mind is yacking at you about.
Do everything with love and attention.
Always maintain a little bit of attention in your own body, feeling each cell and how alive it is.
This is something Eckhart Tolle teaches ( if you don't know about him, that would be a good place to start with Habit 2).
Habit 4: Life Purpose
The thing with this is that you're always right.
What is a life purpose?
Well, whatever you want really.
Life is neutral. Do you think your purpose is to maintain a wonderful family life? You're right, that is your purpose.
Do you think your purpose is to draw art and sell it at the market? You're right, that's exactly what you need to do.
Really, your heart guides you with this stuff.
Habit 4 is just making sure that the time you do spend on activities, is spent on activites that you can feel you're meant to be doing in life.
It doesn't matter what, as long as it's what your heart says.
If you can feel that you need to be getting out there and educating young people on what it's like to be gender fluid - but instead you're working in subway - then you're not on your life purpose.
Get out there and do what you need to be doing.
Habit 5: Contemplation
What is life?
What is death?
Who am I?
Why do humans behave in this certain way?
Why do my parents have these beliefs? Should I believe the same thing?
Do I really exist? What is existence?
Ask yourself the big questions. Don't shy away from them.
Sit down and think for a while every now and then. Don't do anything, just ask yourself the question and then look for the answer inside of you. That's contemplation.
If you never ask yourself the big questions, then you are walking around in a haze. That's not ideal.
Ignorance is a low level of bliss.
Thinking you understand when you don't is suffering.
Higher Understanding is a little like advanced ignorance - you don't hold as much value on concepts and knowledge.
Real bliss is not ignorance, but wisdom.
That's even a good place to start contemplating.
Habit 6 - Being
Do nothing at all. Just allow the present moment to be exactly as it is.
Do not think, do not resist. Just BE.
So simple. It brings such happiness and peace. But who actually does it?
Relax, let your attention sink into your body. Be present to what is happening.
This will amaze you. If you practice it at all times, then you'll find that the best response to whatever comes up, and the right action to take, will alway just come to you spontaneously.
Always breathe, relax, exist. This is the simplest habit.
Habit 7: Enlightenment
This is an extremely advanced topic that is too long for me to go into detail on in this article. I will cover it soon.
Nothing in life is deeper than this. This topic is the absolute limit of depth you can reach with all this stuff.
Have you heard the story of Buddha sitting beneath the tree? He sat there a long time and suddenly, everything clicked for him. He was 'enlightened'.
Jesus was enlightened.
Many people on our planet today are enlightened. It is estimated, about 10, 000 out of all of the billions,
Think this is hippy or spiritual bullshit? Not so. It is actually a very empirical and objective process, which involves breaking down your entire sense of self.
And I'm too much of a wimp to sit down and do it yet, because it is emotionally challenging. But it is also the single most powerful and rewarding thing you can do as a human being.
If you would like to know more then I reccomend this video.
Be patient and it will change your whole life.
Instill some of these habits in your life, and you will discover what it really means to be maximised, happy and fulfilled.
And as for the last one... it's actually, though you may not believe, the only thing you want. All your behaviour is leading towards it, even if you don't know it.
Try some of this stuff out and see for yourself.
- Max :)