Did you know that 95 per cent of your life is made up of days in which nothing really happens? Most days are status quo; drop off the kids, go to work, eat, engage in routine activities and sleep. Rare (or about 5 per cent) are the days in which something exceedingly amazing or terrifyingly devastating happens and when those days occur there is very little choice about how to feel or how to react and that’s okay. What this means, is that for 95 per cent of your life there is a great deal of choice about how you experience those typically uneventful times. For example, when driving to work are you impatient and frustrated with traffic and all those “other” commuters or are you relaxed, mindfully choosing something to play on the audio system or in awe of the fact that you are moving along in a vehicle that exists to get you around from place to place, or perhaps look out the window and appreciating a beautiful sunset on the horizon? Did you even know there was a choice? Imagine the difference of the person who chooses the latter over the former? Imagine day after day of making the choice to sing in the car, laugh with the kids, or respectfully ignore your irritating co-worker? Imagine if at the end of your life you made a mental effort to create a 95 per cent life for yourself.
Here are a few tips to help you get started creating a 95 per cent life. 1. Start small, pick one thing you can and WILL do this week to start to bring the 95 per cent concept into your awareness. The more you practice the more it will come naturally. 2. Go with your natural tendencies. For example, it’s much harder for me to open up to awe and a positive attitude in the morning before coffee! Those are moments I don’t even try and that’s ok because as the day gets going and the coffee kicks in I have much better access to my capacity for choosing my experience. 3. Don’t give up, like any new habit it takes practice and each time you succeed in your new mindfulness practice you are chipping away at creating a 95 per cent life for yourself, NEVER shoot for 100%, that is perfectionism and it is mutually exclusive with mental well-being. 4. Have fun! Ultimately that is the goal here anyway, the more you actively you incorporate fun into your life the lighter you will begin to feel overall, and in doing so are building resources and resiliency for the ratio of negative 5 per cent days when you really need it.