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Stress, Anxiety, Health, Wellness, Well-being, Mindfulness, Awareness, Attention, Leadership, Happiness, Relaxation

Principles of Conscious Well-Being

These principles are derived from twenty-five years of:

  • Studying scientific research & lasting wisdom
  • Teaching, coaching, & advising
  • Personal practice.

These four principles apply to individuals, relationships, teams, and organizations.

Working effectively with these principles has a powerful effect on well-being and performance.

 

Attention wanders

Human attention is designed to wander so that we don’t overlook potential threats — this has been key to our survival as a species. However, there are side effects of this evolutionary adaptation — we get lost in thought, we miss things, we lose sight of what really matters. When our attention wanders from what is most important, we can put time and energy into efforts that are both dissatisfying and exhausting. With practice, we can learn to notice when our attention has wandered and bring it back to what really matters.

 

Discomfort is normal

We have bodies that feel physical and emotional pain. We experience sensations and urges that are uncomfortable. Discomfort can be a source of important information. We live in a modern world that is focused on strategies for avoiding discomfort. Some of our efforts to avoid discomfort can keep us from pursuing meaningful goals and relationships. How we relate and respond to discomfort has an enormous impact on the quality of our lives, our relationships, and our performance. With practice, we can learn to accept and work more effectively with discomfort.

 

We are conditioned

Each of us has existing networks in our brains that are responsible for perceptions, preferences, beliefs, and behaviors that show up without conscious thought or effort. Some of our conditioning works really well — it allows us to function in the world without having to constantly reinvent the wheel. Some of our conditioning does not work particularly well — it leads to behaviors that are not aligned with our deepest values or highest goals. Following our current conditioning is often more comfortable than stepping onto a new path. With practice, we can identify ineffective conditioning and choose new, more useful, approaches to life.

 

Everything is practice

Your brain is constantly rewiring itself based upon what you do repeatedly. Your brain does not care whether you want to get better at something or not, it simply builds networks based on how you use your time and energy. The more we engage in a behavior, the more our brains adapt to it and make it automatic. So, however we use our time and energy builds skill. Each time we engage in conditioned behavior, we reinforce the networks that create it. If we refrain from conditioned behavior or engage in alternative behavior, then we weaken the existing conditioning and create new patterns.

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