Stop Living Accidentally and Live Deliberately
Many of us live accidentally, allowing the activities of daily life to sweep us along like a tidal wave that causes us to experience life as an inadvertent series of events. This equates to a sort of ‘half-living’ that keeps us trapped inside our mental shackles. That’s no way to truly live and certainly no way to run a sustainable business that provides both adequate income and fulfillment.
Business as a Deliberate, Mindful Act
Living deliberately, or with mindfulness, refers to living wholly in the present. In Walden, the renowned philosopher and naturalist, Henry David Thoreau writes, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
What a terrible thought – to discover at the hour of one’s death that he has not truly lived at all.
How does one cultivate a habit of deliberate living and working?
Act with Deliberate Purpose and Vision
When it comes to business, the key to mindfulness involves committing each act or task, no mater how mundane, with purpose and vision. The first step to this is to understand the sacred scarcity of time. Only when you realize with hard conviction that your time is finite can you consistently act with purpose.
Take time to plan your days, weeks, months, etc. Set out to write a calendar story of how you will spend your time and whom you’ll spend it with in both your professional and business life.
Focus Your Mental and Physical Energy
This means you must reject the notion of multitasking as an option. Multitasking is the antithesis of living and acting with purpose. Focus your energy on each individual task at hand. It’s challenging at first, you’ll need to continue to practice.
Distractions will arise and that’s ok. Gently recognize that they’re intruding, but don’t get tangled up in them. Instead, pull yourself and your focus back to the task at hand. With active practice toward the habit of mindfulness, you’ll learn to maximize your resources and concentrate your efforts to turn out your best work.
Assess Your Success and Change What Isn’t Working
Periodically evaluate if your plan and actions are working to get you closer to your goals and personal fulfillment. Honestly assess your success and overcome what’s not working. Living with purpose allows you flexibility to make wise adjustments to your daily activities and long-term plan as your environment and needs change.
I began my journey to living deliberately and with absolute purpose in everything I do in 2010. It hasn’t always been easy, far from it. But, I can say that i am truly transformed — I don’t resemble the person I was before. People who think they know me because they knew me years ago, really no longer have any idea what I’m about.
I have made it my mission to seek self-growth, eliminate bad habits (both personal and professional), and take on each moment with gratitude. I’ve faced some gigantic challenges over the years and have no doubt I’ll face more in the future, but I know that my purposeful living and vision will lead me through it.
I challenge everyone to get started living in the now. Become aware of the stories you tell yourselves. Learn how to take the power away from the frustrations of your everyday by appreciating what you already have right in this very moment.
Go live today with purpose and gratitude and you will enjoy success that defies words.
Everyday is the best day.