The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires (Part 1)

Deepak Chopra

The following article and its second part have been written by one of the most inspired and inspirational people: Dr. Deepak Chopra.
I read the article and resolved I needed to share it with you.
I therefore integrally report the article as it has been issued by the author, as it inspired me.

– * – * –

To fashion a conscious life for yourself, you must address the unconscious way that most people spend their days.  Activity automatically fills the time you devote to it.  Unconscious living is the same as having constricted awareness.  Conscious living is a process of expanding your mind instead.  This may sound a bit lofty, but in reality you can make great progress by examining how you fill your day, as we’ve seen in the last few posts.

We started out with three activities that are universally used to fill time:
1. Following a set routine
2. Coping with challenges as they come up
3. Fulfilling short-term desire.

    The first two have been covered in some detail, so now let’s address the third.

    In everyone’s life short-term desires compete with long-term desires, and whoever finds the right balance will reap the greatest success.  If you focus too much on short-term gratification, the following things become too important: eating, drinking, running errands, keeping everything neat and tidy, micro-managing others, perfectionism, gossip, and trivial distractions.  Experts in time management point out that all of these are inefficient and wasteful, which is certainly true.

    But the larger point is that none of these activities challenges your mind. They require a short attention span, and in place of long-term gratification, you are settling for tiny hits of pleasure.  A stream of short-term gratification is like eating a candy bar every half hour instead of cooking and enjoying a banquet.

    Long-term desires are emotionally more mature, because they delay gratification in the service of a bigger reward.  People realize this, which is why they plan for their retirement. Years of hard work lead to a payoff down the road. But too often those years are not gratifying. They are more like putting in your time at the salt mines. The trick is to derive the right kind of short-term fulfillment.  The right kind isn’t hard to define. It consists of what you do today to make next year better.

    Think of it like writing a book. If you write a page every day, your manuscript will be done next year. A page doesn’t sound like much, but the catch is that it must fit into the final product. Ernest Hemingway set himself a daily goal of half a page only.  If you can do anything today that consciously goes toward fulfilling a long-range vision, plan, project, or mission, you will become the Hemingway of your own life.
    Here are some suggestions:
    1. Set down a single vision, project, or mission.
    2. Set time aside to work on it every day.
    3. Work consists of doing research, making connections, investigating your target audience or market, learning from projects similar to yours, challenging your assumptions, writing a proposal, seeking a mentor, partner, or confidant to bounce your ideas off, and raising capital if needed.
    4. Set interim deadlines that you can reasonably meet every month.
    5. Be adaptable about changing your project as it unfolds.
    Each of these steps should be interesting and, one hopes, exciting to you.  Consciousness expands whenever a person feels creative, passionate, and joyful.  If you don’t have these qualities, you won’t wake up every morning eager to fulfill your long-range goal.  The value of following the five steps I’ve suggested is that you become action oriented; your goal doesn’t drift or become an empty dream.
    In the next post we’ll discuss the most productive and valuable long-range goals. Hint: they begin on the inside and work outward.
    (To be cont.)
    written by
    Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 65 books with numerous New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)

    Found here
    The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires | LinkedIn

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