(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!)
This week the topic is challenging because you’ll need to focus on the internal behaviours and observe your thoughts! But the hard work will pay off because it’s a step towards greater mental well-being. Challenge accepted?
This week’s question topic: NOW
When I was growing up, my dad’s desk had a paper on it that said:
Do what you are doing.
As a child, I never understood that quote. I always thought, of course I’m doing what I’m doing!
Now that I’m older I realize the depth of the instruction to focus your mental energy on what you’re doing. It’s a command not to be carried away by thoughts about yourself, your goals, desired outcomes and future problems. It’s also a command to stop remixing thoughts and judgments about the past. Basically, make sure your mind is singularly involved in doing what you are doing now. Now is selfless. It is the contribution of your authentic being, a gift to the world.
- Which activities take you totally into the now? (How to know: usually, you’ll lose track of time when you become singularly focused on a task)
- Do you enjoy the activities that take you into the now?
- Do you write a “To Do” list for the day or mentally keep checking in with a mental list?
- During what kinds of tasks do you find it difficult to stay focused? (How to know: you get distracted, fidget, or feel compelled to get up and change tasks)
- Give yourself permission to spend 5 minutes visualizing your own “paradise”. Create sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. After, write down what you visualized and how it felt to allow yourself to in the now, free of nagging thoughts.
- Do you find that phone alerts for apps like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram and messages break your concentration? Do you want more or less?
- What is one very small change you can make in order to be habitually more involved in the now?
How to Get the most out of Know Thyself 2019:
Don’t rush through the questions. Try to do only one question every morning, leaving space to add thoughts that might come up later during the day. The journal is designed to help you develop a consistent, daily practice of self-reflection which will help you more than doing 10 questions in one day, then none for a month. Subscribe by email to have the weekly questions delivered to your inbox!
Links to previous weeks: