Being human is pretty cool – most of the time! We’re conscious of being conscious, which allows us to make choices outside of our animal instincts of requiring food, water, and sex to reproduce. Or as Darwin called it, survival of the fittest.
But how do you do it? How can we become more conscious to our awareness? How do we make ourselves happier?
There’s a process we can follow to bring more awareness, consciousness, and happiness to our choices. It’s about knowing the aspects of being human that separates us from all other mammals.
Aspects of Human Intelligence
The key to this is being able to stop yourself in your tracks – taking the opportunity to observe yourself without judgement. Try taking at least three deep breaths, breathing in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds on each breath. Upon slowing down your breathing and smiling, notice what’s happening in your body and in your mind. Become aware of it and then continue with your thinking or actions with more loving kindness, compassion, and love than was there before.
It’s not about going through the motions. Nor is it about feeling what we think we should feel. This is about connecting with our true inner feelings that bubble up inside. It’s about invoking and embracing more compassion, joy, and empathy in your life to be able to really connect with yourself and the humans around you.
All mammals think. We all have brains. However, what separates us as humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability for reflective thinking. Being able to ask and find answers to things like who am I, what do I want, what’s my purpose, what’s my contribution, what are my unique skills and talents, who are my heroes (not idols) is something that allows us to make conscious choice around the role we want to play in this world.
Once we have worked through the being, feeling and thinking, we are in a position to be able to do based on choices. We recognise the role we play in the web of relationships that exists between self and others. We have the ability to act on creating happiness for ourselves and for life itself in the service of and for our reverence for life.
Using Your Intelligence to Become Happier
Stopping to notice what’s going on inside and around you, invoking your sense of conscious being is probably one of the most important skills you can develop in your journey towards greater happiness. Becoming more of a witness to ourselves and our lives can be game changing for the choices we make and the reality we live.
Connecting with your true feelings, letting go of the resentments, grievances and hostility you have collected along the way and opening up your heart to compassion, joy and empathy, can remove a lifetime of bitterness that has continued to get in your way, affecting your relationships, your career, and your happiness.
Taking the time to reflect on what you want for yourself, your purpose, your calling, and your contribution to this world can be a scary thought. We get busy so to avoid having time that lets in reflective thinking. People pay thousands to go on retreats in the middle of nowhere to get reconnected with themselves and reflect on their lives.
Challenge yourself to an hour of nothing. No TV, no phone, no tablet, just nothing. Lie on your bed for an hour and let your mind wonder. Ponder your gifts and talents. Ask yourself what you want from your life. Note down any thoughts and ideas that pop into your head as you empty the clutter that’s in there.
Then start acting on what you discover through your awareness, your connection to your compassionate feelings, and your reflection. Recognise that someone snapping at you has more to do with what’s going on in their life than it is to do with you, and let it wash over you like water off a duck’s back. Make small changes to move you in the direction of what you think you should be doing. Find like-minded people, start conversations, do some research online, being to read more, listen to podcasts in your car rather than the radio.
There is lots you can do, little things, that can start moving you towards greater happiness by invoking your humanness. Don’t let life happen to you. Take the time and make the commitment to take control of it and charter your own destiny. Don’t put your happiness in the hands of others. And if you are not sure where to start, contact me to set up an hour of free coaching to get the ball rolling for you.