What is the true meaning of life? What will we regret on our deathbed? Religious or non-religious the meaning of life is the same. To live life to its fullest. To live completely in the present moment instead of living our entire lives lost in thought.
Father’s day is a time to step back out of our daily lives. Lives filled with emotions, hard times, hatred, anger, stress, happiness, anxiety, tiredness, pain, suffering, unhappiness, etc. We get so caught up in our lives that sometimes we don’t appreciate what’s right in front of us.
We sometimes forget to be thankful for the people around us, the situation that we’ve been given and for the kind acts that others do for us. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we start acting selfishly. I know I’ve done this plenty of times, we all probably have some time or another. With the ins and the outs that life has to offer.
Minimalism has been a growing movement in the past few years. Everyone’s realizing the profound effect it can have on their life.
Scientific research is now showing that changing your routine and getting out of autopilot mode will increase the amount of happiness in your life. So how should we go about doing this? What habits should we change? Let’s realize that the mind can only do one thing at a time. If you’re trying to multitask you’re doing it at the expense of efficiency or because one of the tasks is subconscious.
Mindfulness seems to be a hard task for beginners. Our minds are continuously jumping around from thought to thought, from the past to the future. It seems unnatural and uncomfortable in modern society to live in the moment. It isn’t mainstream(yet!). It’s always more comfortable for us to follow the crowd then to stand out and go against the grain. That’s why one man, Thich Nhat Hanh, created an idea called “A day of Mindfulness”.
Over the course of time it becomes imperative to reevaluate our lifestyles. Asking ourselves what the motives are behind our decisions. To not assume that everyone wants the best for us, instead of simply their company. That men and women alike should be willing to challenge the societal norm in which we live. Not believing that just because the people around us are acting a certain way we should do the same. That happiness does not come from material possessions, but rather from internal processes. Consumerism has put the value of material possessions greater than that of connections, experiences, and the truly important entities of life and reality. —Such has been the cause of suffering and depression in the modern age. Our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, even warned the country about the consequences of consumerism in his speech titled “Crisis of Confidence”. To prove this, let the truth be unraveled through your own experiences and by understanding the real motives behind the large companies in the world.
Consumerism is simply a bunch of businesses trying to make a ton of money by selling us stuff that we don’t need. I believe we are losing control of ourselves. We’ve becoming obsessed with buying stuff, which creates loads of debt Do we really need that much space in a house? Does a nice car, house or watch really make us a better person? Does it really make us happy? We are driven to achieve the American dream, but what is the American dream? A fantasy land in which we own the nicest house, car and material possession in the neighborhood. What if the American dream isn’t my dream? Then am I a rebel. Going against what society is telling me. I am just living a life of happiness and mindfulness.
- It has been run by a bunch of CEO’s who only care about money.
- It has tricked people into thinking they have a void that can only be filled with stuff
- It has destroyed nature in order to run manufacturing plants that are horrible for the environment
- It has increased overall debt in developed countries by persuading people to buy a house that they will work their whole lives to pay off.
- It has created an economy dependent on consumerism
- It has created a need for compulsory consumption, in which people shop just to shop.
- It has created greed as a value of the American people. Making money the prime focus in life.
- It has made it hard for people to live in the moment, everyone is always daydreaming about a material possession that they want
- For decreasing my overall wellbeing, and making me more depressed, angry, and hopeless than ever before.
- For creating a dependence on money
- For ruining the environment
- For creating an illusion of a gaping void and a need for material possession that won’t even make me happy
- For creating sickness and unhealthy eating by valuing and advertising junk food on every corner of every city.
- For making me discontent with who I am
- For making me value self indulgence and stimulation
- For making me value what I own over what I accomplish in life
I tried to obtain my independence peacefully through mindfulness, minimalism, and meditation. I starting eliminating all the excess material possessions in my life. I began living in the moment and unhooking from stimulation and constant advertisements. But overall, you came out on top. Constantly bombarding me with advertisement and false hopes. Therefore, I ought to be free and detached from the false hope that you’re offering me. I will act on my own, free of debt, wanting stuff, and living a depressing, hopeless life. I pledge to be free, happy, mindful, and living everyday to its fullest without the interruptions of your institution.
Ethan Nelson (“The Mindful Young Man”)
This post is merely an essay that I had to write in school. The point of the essay was to write a mock declaration of independence against a person or institution. I chose the institution of consumerism and here is my article.
When learning about new things and gaining knowledge our minds tend to get in the way. We tend to have preconceived notions and biases towards one point or another. Whatever stance you take on an argument, you’re still hindered by your single sided approach.
It’s very easy to be worried or anxious about what you aren’t doing at the present moment. There are about a million things that you could be doing at this present moment. If you pass up an option you will probably feel regret and remorse. Doing so takes us away from the preset moment and into a world of thought. Trying to think through every option and justify our own current situation. Continue reading “How to make confident decisions”
Although meditating is the best option, many people still don’t see the benefit of meditation. Many people have a bias against meditation. If you’re one of those people who still isn’t sure why to meditate then practice mindfulness instead.
The most important outcome of meditation is learning to be in the moment, but meditation isn’t the only way to do so. Even if you meditate, I’d bet you don’t do it for more than 25 minutes a day. Mindfulness is the other route. Mindfulness is simply being aware of the present moment no matter what situation you’re in. You can practice mindfulness every minute of every hour of every day. Being mindful isn’t hard at all, it’s just about remembering to do it.
Learn to be in the Moment
We spend our lives lost in thought, full of emotion, addicted to stimulus and more. Being in the moment solves all of this. So the next time you catch yourself lost in thought just gently relax into the moment.
What to do throughout your day
- Focus on the breathe, the sensations of breathing in and out.
- Hear to the sounds of the moment, simply let the sounds come to you.
- Feel the sensation of your feet on the ground, especially when you’re walking.
- Notice the physical sensations of your body, unpleasant sensations too!
- Notice the colors of everything around you.
Being in the moment simply means: Being aware of the everything around you. It means focusing on what is happening right here, right now, not rethinking the past or worrying about the future. Practicing mindfulness in your day to day life can change the way you live.
You can become happier, learn to control your emotions, lose your addictions, become focused, reduce stress and much more. Mindfulness is a habit to keep for the rest of your life. You won’t regret it.
“Every morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most.” -Siddhartha Gautama
The countless misconceptions and stereotypes about meditation cause people to never undertake in the habit of meditating everyday. The benefits themselves are enough a reason to meditate. As stated by Sam Harris “A vast majority of life’s problems can be solved through meditation”. These benefits are all the result of being able to live in the present moment. The good news is that you don’t have to be a zen master to see the benefits of it. Here are a few of the benign outcomes of meditation, which you can use as reasons to create your own daily meditation habit.