Are you surprised when a wedding or a funeral brings contemplation down on you like a soft blanket or leaves you feeling strangely rattled? Holding a newborn child can do it, but sometimes the contemplation is brought on by a movie or a book.
These important moments knock at the doors of our souls and invite us to explore them. They touch a nerve somewhere inside.
Keep that thought alive!
These are times we stop and think. So often though, before we have finished examining the echoes of the feelings and thoughts that were evoked, life calls us back into action.
The kids need picking up or dropping off. The phone rings. Deadlines loom nervously close. Before we know it, the triggered urge to explore and excavate is drowned out or buried under today’s demands.
Yet it remains there, underneath the surface of our everyday lives, this nodule of unfinished thought…what is it all about? What “nerve” did it touch?
I think we live our lives constantly executing a private “code of beliefs.”
This code of beliefs continually evolves in you from the moment you are born.Whether you pay attention to it or not, it continues to grow and change along with your life experience. You change outworn beliefs for new ones – like your clothes.
As with your wardrobe, some beliefs just hang there, dormant – until you need them, while you use others regularly. As the social fabric shifts, your choices do too. If you move to a new place, you have to adjust your mental wardrobe and shift your beliefs to adapt to the new climate.
Unless something happens to make you go in there and take a long hard look at your beliefs, the process remains largely unconscious, under the radar.
Then you attend that funeral or high school reunion, or you watch a movie (like The Big Chill or The Matrix) and your attention turns inward.
You realize one day that you have accumulated a bunch of disparate beliefs and ideas that you haven’t fully integrated into your day-to-day consciousness and it is time for some mental spring-cleaning.
Now you do a kind of inventory or stock-taking exercise – and end up making a conscious change or shift in your thinking. You may call in a friend or family member, or possibly even a coach or consultant, and try to put it all into perspective.
- How does this life you are living match up to what you imagined or dreamed of when you were 8 years old? Is there at least something consistent with those dreams? Was that 8 year old wrong about everything?
- Where did you compromise and are you still compromising – out of habit…? or convenience?
- Have you been true to you, not just in material success, but in how beautifully you are living your essence?
Here’s my point in all this:
Take charge of your thoughts, of your “code of beliefs” that directs them. Don’t let them run on automatic pilot until someone you love dies and makes you realize (or worse: regret) that you have lost touch with what matters.
Live your life with conscious intent. Don’t wait for the economy to turn on you and force you out of your cushy or functional job and leave you wondering what to do next.
Take charge and design your life. Design it to fit you and not the other way around.
What really motivates you?
What do you really want?
How do you get that?