One of my main purposes in life is just to live consciously. I know I’m not very good at it but I see some progress through the years and that gives me the drive to make it happen every day. But what does living consciously actually mean and why would someone try to live that way?
Living consciously would very simply mean living deliberately or intentionally. When we look at the state of our lives as individuals most of the things that happen to us happen unconsciously. That means that we are not really aware why certain things happen to us or why we do the things we do or even why are we the way we are. If we just look at how we go through the day we can see that we mostly just repeat the same patterns of thinking and doing over and over. Those patterns and habits give us a sense of safety because they are familiar. But they are at the same time preventing us to adopt new and better habits or just discard old habits without adopting new ones and therefore live life more spontaneously.
To live life consciously means being a master of your own destiny so to speak. It means that whatever action we take or don’t take in any single moment we have consciously decided beforehand we are going to act in that manner and then act that way. The alternative to this would be living a slave’s life. That would mean that we are compelled to do something. The most extreme way of that kind of neurotic behavior would be an obsessive compulsive disorder where a person has or feels the urge to repeat certain thought or behavior over and over and in a lot of cases leading to no actual reward or pleasure.
Compulsive behavior can be very subtle and it can manifest in almost every area of our lives. Someone cannot stop smoking, someone is overeating, someone is scrolling through the internet pages, someone is nonstop switching channels on television, someone cannot stop shopping, someone cannot stop talking etc. The list is almost endless. I know how that is. I had more than one type of such behavior. When I was a teenager I could not stop biting my fingers. I was sick many times because of that and before I finally stopped I got severe diarrhea and vomiting that lasted almost through the whole week.
The second was when I started Potentia Society. I was working averagely 14 hours a day and sleeping around 6 hours a night. I was so tired. Caffeine was really the main thing holding me up. I drank at least 6 cups of coffee every day. But the funny thing is even when the work quota went down to around 10 hours a day and I was sleeping around 8 hours a night I was still looking for excuses why I should continue drinking such large amounts of coffee every day. The fact is I was really addicted to coffee. When I was finally prepared to admit to myself that I am addicted and I am not just drinking coffee because of its benefits I was able to cut it to 1-2 cups per day.
A wise man once said that first you have to admit to yourself you are in prison before you can escape. If you think you are already free then you cannot escape. If you decide to live consciously or at least try life will become much more satisfying. But not just for you but everyone around you. You will definitely make better decisions, you will be happier, you will consume less and therefore have more. But above all you will understand yourself and the world better.