Is Your Life on Autopilot?

05.01.13 WednesdayA pattern of behavior can become so habitual that one barely notices anymore what it prompts one to do. One feels automatically, thinks automatically and acts automatically. ~ Martine Batchelor,  Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits (Wisdom Publications, 2007)

Many of us are living and working on autopilot, it has been said that actually that number is more than two-thirds of us.

Neuroscientists say that it could be due to our brain’s ability to conserve energy. To avoid exhausting valuable reserves, the brain chooses the path of least opposition. Our brain tries to escape from thinking, which leads us to form embedded habits and routines.

Don’t allow this physiological wiring to quiet you into a state of contentment or boredom. Eras of research on success propose that successful people reach their goals because of what they do, not because of who they are. They separate themselves from their always struggling counterparts by realizing when it is time to make a move. They increase their level of awareness and seize moments of opportunity.

Here are three tactics for turning off your brain’s autopilot and taking necessary steps towards achieving your goals:

1. Recognize what you want. You’ll overlook important opportunities if you don’t realize  what you are working towards achieving.  Consider making a list of three areas you’d like to improve. Then, write down three steps necessary to accomplish each goal. Arrange the nine steps, and energetically pursue three of them.

2. Become more mindful.  As you go through your day, take time to just breathe deeply. Mindful breathing signals your brain to what’s going on around you, therefore taking it off autopilot. Take breaks from what you are doing every 90 minutes,  and evaluate what you are doing to see if it truly matters.

3. Be precise. Goals can’t be unclear if you want to make improvements. Break them down into baby steps. The more solid and action-based they are, the easier it is to carry them out.

If you’ve become so programmed you’re becoming complacent and bored, try waking yourself up. Make sure that the direction you are going in, is the right direction. Consider working with a trusted mentor or coach, who can invigorate your life plan, and help you get more from days.

As a coach,, I have recognized just how many of us slide into a life of routine and habits.  There are those habits that can certainly help, but here are also those that can create boredom, and that can lead to us sabotaging even our best efforts. Does tat sound familiar? I’m be glad to talk with you!


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