How to Increase Consciousness (and Improve Your Quality of Life)

How to Increase Consciousness (and Improve Your Quality of Life)

When I sat down and decided to start a blog I never really expected to cover such an incredible array of topics. My interest seems to change and evolve the more I write and explore the connections between personal development and simplicity.

First, I spent a lot of time with the concrete concept of decluttering and organizing physical objects. Then, I moved into the mental aspects of focus, motivation, and productivity. Now, my interest seems to be shifting to a new, but still related topic – consciousness.

The link between consciousness and simplicity has been driving the majority of my thoughts and creative effort lately. Firstly, consciousness refers to the idea of becoming aware of your motivations, your attitude, and what you can truly control.

Consciousness is being truly and completely “in the moment” no matter what you happen to be doing. A happy and fulfilled life is marked by a level of consciousness that many unhappy people don’t even realize they’re missing. Taking steps toward increasing your consciousness is the most concrete and direct way you can improve your daily life.

Simplicity, or living the simpler life, applies to this concept in its ability to clarify. Simplifying leads to clarity of values, passion, and motivation.

Becoming completely clear on why you think the way you do, or why you act the way you do, is vital for increased consciousness. Simplicity removes the excess possessions, commitments, and distractions form your life so you are free to focus on more important matters.

Since improving your consciousness will improve your quality of life nearly immediately, what can you do to begin working in that direction? Improved consciousness isn’t something that can be turned on and off like a light switch.

It can, however, be practiced like any other skill. There are a couple simple things that I try to focus on and practice everyday. These three skills have improved my ability to be conscious more than anything else I’ve tried.

1. Slow Down:  Our society values the individual who can juggle multiple tasks at once. The constant struggle to do more while doing it quicker does nothing but produce lackluster work. Being buffeted by never-ending stimuli is a formula for burnout, not improved consciousness.

Take a moment to slow down and really think about what you’re doing. Do one thing at a time. Really lose yourself in your task. If you’re working on a project for work, turn off instant messenger, log off Facebook and only do one thing.

The human mind is an incredible thing, but too often we use its capabilities to juggle multiple tasks mediocrely instead of one task incredibly.

2. Focus on Essentials:  A building needs a strong foundation. Pyramids aren’t built with their tips on the ground and the wide base in the air. That’s obviously stupid. Why do many of us try to live our lives the same way?

Building a strong foundation of values, good habits, and strong relationships is required before we can build our lives into something monumental. Don’t skimp on the essentials of living an exceptional life.

3. Question Your Assumptions:  Why do you do what you do? Is it because you’ve consciously made the decision to do it? Or, is something else motivating you? You are berated by marketing, pressure, and socialization your entire life.

Many of your decisions and habits are likely driven by these factors and not your own values. I prefer to have my actions be directed by what I truly care about and not by forces outside my control.

Constantly revisiting these three skills will improve your ability to be conscious in your daily life. Like anything else, they require practice. At first, it will be incredibly difficult to implement this advice but over time they will become second nature. It’s that ability to adopt these skills that will elevate you and your enjoyment of life to a whole new level.

What can you do right now to improve your consciousness?