Eyes wide open but Asleep

The pretender’s greatest illusion is the belief that we are awake when our eyes are open.

There is a part of self that is kind of delusional. It is constantly talking, rarely listening and believes its thoughts and opinions are always RIGHT.

Met anyone like that…

How many times have you had experiences like;

  • You are driving down a familiar street and noticed a sign, building or something or other for the first time, when it has actually been there the last 50 times you drove past?
  • Or you’re driving to a friend’s house and somehow you end up at work instead?
  • Or you start editing a report and get halfway in before you realise you have already re-written this?
  • Or you are in deep conversation and something catches your eye for a moment, you look away and then realise…where was I?

Your mind was somewhere other than focused on the task at hand.

I recently came across some research by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert which found that our ability to focus in the moment or on the job, is diminishing. They found a staggering 46.9% of our time we are not paying attention to what we are doing!

Nearly half the time you are either;

  • Distracted,
  • Multitasking,
  • Ineffective,
  • Overwhelmed,
  • Stressed out,
  • Confused,
  • Complaining,
  • Redoing the same tasks again,
  • Overloaded, or
  • Suffering mental fatigue.

Most of this lack of attentiveness happens when we are awake, but in fact unconsciously asleep.

The pretender is attached to thinking about what is NOT happening in the moment. The focus is on reliving the past, imagining the future or worrying about possibilities that do not even exist, creating a sense of being trapped and unhappy.

Think about it. We live in an extraordinary time. The world has never been as it is today. The virtual or online world once lived in our desktops or at best a laptop, which made it an intruder. But now, the virtual world walks with us, talks to us, goes on our holidays and shares intimate moments with us (the latter, hopefully not online!) because it is always on us or by our side.

The distractions of the virtual world are so constant and relentless that it can become hard to distinguish when you are really awake and when you are unconsciously asleep. And it is making us confused, overwhelmed, stressed and depressed (to name a few feelings) which in turn drastically alters our happiness, wellbeing, productivity and performance.

So many illusions for the pretender to feed on!

If you find yourself, repeating un-resourceful patterns, doing the same things over and over again, getting unwanted results, having familiar reactions and feeling that something is not quite right, even though to the outside world it looks like you are doing great, then keep reading…

The function of neuroplasticity confirms our brain is constantly being reshaped by our experiences and our thoughts and that the parts of the brain we use the most become the strongest.

So, the more we experience stress, confusion, overwhelm and unhappiness, the better skilled we become at reliving those things. The same also works in that the more we experience being fully awake, aware, conscious, happy, focused, successful and calm the more skilled we become in reliving those things. Which would you prefer?

It you want to have a strong, healthy, powerful body you change your diet and exercise more. If you want to change your life, change your thoughts. Be awake when your eyes are open, notice your thoughts and practice observing them without attachment. You will soon recognise the thoughts to change.

Sounds simple…NOT!

For most of us it takes a lot of conscious and mindful practice to be comfortable with observing.

And if you want to know how.

Have a listen to my on demand recording on the Super Power of Mindfulness.