December 10, 2020
NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTIES PART SIX
Approaching Challenges with Mindfulness and Self-Control
Before we begin the final part of our Navigating Uncertainties series, for those who are new to this series, and have missed the previous five posts, I’ve included information on each of the earlier parts below.
Part One: We opened up this series with a discussion on how we can equip ourselves to navigate change and uncertainty in life by approaching times such as these with both grace and mindfulness.
“Uncertainty is a natural part of life, so instead of resisting it, learn to live with it.” – Mim Chawimon
Part Two: We talked about how to bridge everything together – the past, the present and the future in which we have the ability to choose and design.
The key takeaway for this part of the series is that we bridge the past to the present through the process of reflection and introspection by accumulating what we have learned, which results in who we have become now. With an enrooted sense of self and a focus on the now, we will then feel more confident and grounded for each decision we make now. And, with each decision we make in the now, we are in turn building up to our future.
Part Three: We discussed channeling the right focus and learning how to take back the driver’s seat in life by focusing on ourselves and what we can do.
Gaining clarity while navigating uncertainties isn’t always easy. In fact, simply navigating a landscape riddled with change can be scary. But, when you are able to channel your focus away from what you can’t control, and instead focus on what you can do, you’re able to then take back the driver’s seat in your life, even if the world is chaotic all around you.
Part Four: We talked about turning inward to connect with ourselves and establishing clear boundaries in order to harmoniously and authentically bridge the gap between ourselves and how we interact with others and the world around us.
“The goal is to stay in the NOW and find the alignment between your head and your heart. With clear boundaries and staying true to yourself, this is where you can live your “authenticity.” And in turn, make it much easier to find harmony from within.” – Mim Chawimon
Part Five: We discussed avenues of where we want to be in life and identify why and how we will get there. Knowing where we want to go and why we want to get there is like having a compass to navigate the journey of life.
“When we allow time for a “pause” we can then create “space” for things to realign in our mind for the purpose of seeing things more objectively before decide on our next course of actions.” – Mim Chawimon
LIVING AN ENRICHED LIVE
Knowing one’s boundaries is a gateway to living an authentic and happy life. Once we know what we can and cannot tolerate, life becomes simple.
Instead of processing everything, there is a filter that helps lift the load off in order to focus and help to refine the essentials.
Once we know where we are going and making our way there, our lives become more enriched and fulfilling.
With conscious choice, we tend to live life in a more meaningful way, overall more content and fulfilled. But before we jump into Peter Pan Neverland, let’s come back to our lovely planet earth. (Lol)
I am not here to give a false promise that by living mindfully there would be no sadness or unpleasant incidents!
However, I can confidently claim that living mindfully will lead to a life filled with less regrets. Leading me to my next point, it is worth making a clear distinction between sadness and regret.
Sadness is a normal part of life and cannot be fully eliminated. With so many uncontrollable and external factors involved in our lives, things will not always go the way we want.
However, we can manage sadness and other negative feelings better with experiences and mindfulness.
Regret, on the other hand, is unhealthy and can be prevented through the practice of mindfulness and conscious choice. Regret is like a mixture of sadness coupled with a constant “what-if” tape that plays in our mind.
This tape recorder is a result of us unconsciously trying to amend the past because deep down we knew that we could have done better. But we neglected to do or intentionally chose not to.
Hence we live with the consequences that we are not happy with in the present.
So, how can we live life with less regrets? My personal answer to you would be by living more mindfully and authentically.
To make a decision and take action that we know would be good for our long term well-being and happiness is an example of “mindfulness.”
SELF-CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE, OUR RELIABLE FRIEND
In my earlier post of this series Part 3, I touched down on the concept of taking the driver’s seat in our lives. We will now begin to dive in deeper by touching down on the concept of self-control and self-discipline.
The word discipline and self-control might turn a lot of people off. It doesn’t sound like a very sexy concept. (Lol) But I think self-control and discipline needs a makeover, a fresh new look.
What would you do in situations that you have no control over?
My answer would be if I cannot change the situation, then I change my attitude towards it and learn to work around it!
Instead of trying to control others, I learn to control myself and how I respond to certain situations.
For instance, to do “the right thing” per se, is actually very situational. It would all depend on the context of the situation. I don’t like to play the “jury role” nor is it the purpose of my blog. So, I will let you decide that for yourself.
However, I would invite you to play a “devil’s advocate” game; with you being the receiver of your own actions.
What would you feel?
How would you react?
Would the thing you are about to do lead to a win-win situation for all parties involved?
Because what is “right and just” will be sustainable and stand the test of time.
This is where self-discipline comes into play. A lot of times, “the right thing” might not always be an easy choice.
Humans are instinctively self-serving. We do not like to change ourselves but we seem to like the idea of changing other people in order to accommodate our own interests.
History shows how people in power have exploited and abused their power.
It seems to me that only the ones that exercised their power and influence for the greater good of the people at large are those that get praised and admired for years or centuries after their reign.
So-to-speak, those who “want” and “can” choose to do “the right thing” need to have a strong willpower – capable of “self-control” and “self-discipline”.
I personally separate “want” and “can” from each other because just because somebody wants to do something, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily show up for themselves.
The “can” is the self-control and self-discipline that I am talking about. The bigger the task, the more self-discipline is needed.
However, the “want” largely shows a willingness and it usually shows that making a conscious choice to “do the right thing” is involved. Especially knowing that it leads to a win-win outcome for all parties affiliated, as opposed to a zero sum game outcome.
In short “doing the right thing” involves making conscious choices while also having the self-discipline to not only take action on those choices we make, but follow through with them as well.
Mindful Living is a Life-Long Journey
It’s time for us to close this chapter on our journey in navigating uncertainties. In coming full circle with this message, I want to invite us to pause first when we encounter roadblocks and challenges in order to get back to ourselves and NOW. When we are ready to get back to our proactive mode, our enrooted self and life purpose would guide us to choose to “do the right thing” as we see fit for our situation, “the thing” will serve us and all parties involved well in the long run.
Mindful living is a life-long journey. It is not a quick fix kind of game. Nor does it mean that all of our regrets and sadness go away at once and that we will always make the right decisions from now on until forever. Mindful living is not as easy nor absolute as that.
Instead, mindful living is a beautiful, gradual, and natural process that evolves throughout our lifetime. It allows us to age and mature gracefully as we become more deeply rooted in our authenticity, and as we achieve a higher level of mindfulness and conscious choice.
“To live is to choose, but to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
– Kofi Annan
I wish you all meaningful and enriched lives, navigating through the uncertainties with mindfulness, courage and positivity! ☺