Are you living habitually?
Are you stuck in the same rut – doing the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year?
Maybe you come in from work and eat the same type of food and watch the same old TV programmes, go to bed at the same time and then wake up and start all over again – living habitually instead of with purpose?
Are you living the life you dream of or are you feeling an underlying or growing sense of boredom or dissatisfaction?
There have been times in my life where I’ve found myself on the ‘ habitual treadmill’ (and not the fitness treadmill!) Running the same patterns over and over as the years rolled by, I found myself increasingly frustrated, with a sense that there is more to life and yet continuing to run around on the same hamsters wheel. Even when I’ve started to shift myself out of the rut, looking back I can see that sometimes there was a BIG magnet, drawing me back to the hamster’s wheel. Are You Committed To Being Happy or Unhappy?
Because often, we learn some patterns of behaviour, the habit is formed and then we continue to run the same patterns repeatedly. We slip into a viscious circle, thinking the same thoughts which triggers the same feelings, which triggers the same chemical responses, which lead to the same emotions and ultimately the same behaviour and then we repeat it all over again.
It seems bizarre that even when we know something’s not right, that we’ll still continue to ‘do it’ over and over and over!
Our brains are like a computer and just like hitting a button on the keyboard to run our computer programme, we often hit the ‘brain button’ and set off our brain programme – our body language, body chemistry and behaviours trigger automatically and we experience the same result.
Much of our programming is established when we’re children and originally, it may have been the right programme given the circumstances of our life and our knowledge and understanding of life and the people we watched as we grew up. However, what many of us fail to do is to upgrade the programme as we become older and wiser.
Are you living with an outdated computer programme?
How quickly does the world of computer technology change? Think about how often we upgrade our computers – even here on WordPress, we need to regularly update our systems to keep up with the latest software update.
Technology has changed rapidly – I was explaining to my granddaughter that 25 years ago when her dad was the same age (8), we didn’t have mobile phones and that we only had the landline phones at home or work and if we were out and about we had to use a telephone box and put money into the slot to make a call. She couldn’t even grasp the concept of not having a mobile phone.
My Brain programming upgrade has definitely been much slower than any of the upgrades to my computer!
We often invest time and money to upgrade our computers and learn how to use new software and yet we don’t always put that same level of energy into our brain re-programming and as a result, our programmes continue to run habitually, even through they’re way of date and aren’t achieving the desired results in our life.
When did you last upgrade your brain?
I finally made some BIG upgrades a couple of years ago when I took the decision to jump off the hamsters wheel. I put my faith in the Universe and I took time out to upgrade my skills, develop my vision board and learn about the things I really wanted to do, rather than continuing to do the same thing day in day out habitually.
I broke the repetitive programmes and moved away from the predictable future.
or at least I thought I’d ‘broken’ the programme….
…and yet recently, I’m feeling that powerful magnet drawing me back and I’m slipping back into the patterns I thought I’d upgraded! I feel like I’m moving away from my dreams instead of toward them.
The great difference is that I’m conscious of slipping back…
I notice the knot in my stomach and the tightness in my chest and the slight sense of frustration with myself – and that’s the key.
I’m CONSCIOUS of the drift back – I’m noticing those feelings and I recognise that I’m starting to re-run an old programme that has automatically restored the old ‘back up’ copy…
Crikey – I bet not many people reading this will remember one of the first computers to arrive in our homes – the Sinclair 64… would you swap your laptop for that big clunky old computer or even go back to the previous version of the software your currently using….
I’m guessing that’s a big fat NO!!!
Well, you’re absolutely right – when we upgrade, it’s usually beneficial and even if there are some ‘bugs’ in the new software, these are fixed fairly quickly when we install the latest ‘bug fix’…
So why do we allow ourselves to slip back to old ‘brain programmes’ even when we thought we’d upgraded the software? It’s like we flick a switch and restore the old data – the old version of the software.
I’ve realised that upgrading our software isn’t enough as somewhere in the depths of our brain, the old patterns, triggers, routines are still there and when the wrong button on the keyboard is pressed, they start to re-emerge, dragging us back to the old behaviours.
So what’s the solution?
We have to have a much deeper clean up of the software out and make sure we’ve deleted any old back ups and restored back to the original clean factory settings before uploading the new programme.
I hear you …. yes, you’re right, we can’t simply replace our brain and buy a new one (that’ll probably be possible in less than 25 years with the advances in artificial intelligence) but for now, it is possible to completely change the software and to pull the plug on the magnet that draws you back to those old patterns of behaviour.
- Become pro-actively conscious – notice and recognise those feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction and what your emotions are telling you and how they are influencing your and behaviour.
- Meditate… – Meditation re-conditions our body and brain and frees up some space to enable us to install a completely new programme.
- Practice visualisation – this is such a powerful tool and is truly transformational!
Oh dear… I can see some of you rolling your eyes and SHOUTING AT ME – I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MEDITATE!!!
Well maybe you should ‘flip it’ and ask yourself how much time you’ve wasted by not taking the time to re-wire your brain….
When we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always had….
I can also hear some people saying “I’ve tried visualisation – it doesn’t work for me cos I can’t ‘see’ anything” – well that’s fine – many people don’t see an image but they can feel the experience instead.
Top sportspeople like Tiger Woods, Novak Djokovic and many more, listen to their coaches and master the art of visualisation and they’re open in talking about what a MASSIVE difference it has made to their success.
If what you’re experiencing isn’t what you want, you have to do something different or you’ll continue to live habitually instead of purposefully.
Why do we expect to see a transformation in our life when we keep doing the same things day after day… we’re simply going to experience the same results.
Meditation and Visualisation are amazing tools, that enable us to clear out the old triggers and patterns and to install some new neural pathways. They change how our brains are wired.
The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination and there’ve been many scientific studies over the years which have proved that when we use visualisation, we’re installing a memory of an imagined experience which we can then utilise in reality.
Combining meditation and visualisation enables us to re-programme our brain, eliminate the old unhelpful programmes, rid ourselves of unhelpful beliefs and install new triggers, which we can learn to fire off when we need them so that we’re creating new habits and moving toward our dreams.
Here’s some helpful guidance on Visioning…
Wendy, what a timely post for me. The last few years have been such an up and down time for me (as you know) and like you, even with great intentions, I’ve felt myself slipping back into old patterns, old ways of negative and worrying thinking. It’s amazing how years of upbringing can be so imprinted in our minds. It takes awareness as you said and a conscious effort to shift those thought patterns and change our mindscript. I need to get back to regular mediation and visualisation (or ‘visioneering’ as he said in the video) and to take a step back to find myself again.I need to learn that it’s not selfish or wrong to be happy because somehow in my family upbringing I think that was almost subconsciously ingrained in me.
Thank you for an enlightening post and for your, as always, well timed advice. Thanks also for sharing the video which I just finished listening to. It reinforced so much of what you said and was really helpful. Here’s to rebooting and kick starting that computer again!!!! 🙂 Talk soon my friend, much to catch up on. xo
Hi Miri, Wow – so sorry I haven’t been in touch. I’ve not been on the blog at all for the last couple of weeks as I’ve been travelling all over the place doing ‘audits’ and now I’m sat in bed ready to start writing up some of the reports so I thought I’d take a quick peak and here you are – how lovely to hear from you.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this post – I wrote it from the heart and then found the video that matched – it was the first one I clicked on and just fitted perfectly… as always it’s a reminder to be listening to my intuition and not to get sucked back (which I am) into old unhealthy patterns of behaviour. It sounds like we’re both on that path and it’s time to kick ourselves off it again! I’ve committed myself pretty heavily up to the middle of December and then it settles down for a bit and I’m determined to focus some time on the things I love doing like blogging etc. instead of the things I feel I have to do… Yep – I’ve been thinking about you and here you are – so lovely and yep – it’s time to chink our cups with a brew and a good old chinwag Miri! Speak soon and much love to you and your family xxx
So so nice to hear from you Wendy. I figured you’ve been super busy at work. I’ve been meaning to sit down and write you a long email and it will happen soon. So much to tell you, so much to catch up on, so many ups and downs. But that’s life isn’t it. Chat very soon. Big hugs and love to you in the meantime. xx
We had a lovely family day yesterday Miri – it was a perfect reminder for me to make sure I stick with my core values – to spend time with my family.. the perfect start to the run up to Xmas. I look forward to hearing from you soon xxx
Sounds perfect Wendy. I’m just waiting for my sister in law to arrive. She’s offered to take me out Christmas shopping seeing as I can’t drive for the next month. Nice of her. Yes, we’ll chat soon. xx
How’s it going with the Xmas shopping Miri? xx
All done. Mostly! xx
Oh fab… Mine’s all been on hold pending the big audit on Thursday – we did really well which was great news so now it’s ‘catch up for Xmas’ … Off to the girlies dance show this morning and then back to put up the Xmas tree later.. I can get out of work mode and into Xmas spirit – Phew!
That sounds great. Enjoy! xx