In a sense, apart from our habits and obligations, and of some important
choices of existence, life will lead us to live almost everything randomly
or in the repetition of what we have always done. And even if most of
the time it is good to follow the stream without too much resistance to
what life brings to us, it is important to do it in consciousness. Our
important life's choices are relatively rare : profession, couple, friendships,
housing, leisure, holidays.
Inversely our daily life can be the source of continuous choices if we
stop systematically relying on our habits and external influences. And
it is at this level that we have the possibility to get back to the present
and to educate our thoughts.
When these choices are made by conditioning, by habits or by facility,
by obedience, or in order to conform to a social pressure (most of the
time unconsciously), or when some of those choices are not suiting us
anymore; and that we are going on rushing headlong, sometimes complaining,
or blaming other for creating our problems, rather than reorienting our
choices; we are setting the scene towards lowering control on events,
decline in presence, reduction in memory, decrease in consciousness and
a loss of mental autonomy.
And among all those choices, those who will most influence the process
those are related to our time management : setting priorities, so that
we never be overtaken (or as little as possible) by whatever we undertake
or are forced to do. If we are not in a position to manage our time in
such a way as to keep some form of serenity, we surely won't have the
possibility to get back to the present moment and to be in state of making
conscious choices. And inversely, being inactive consists of not having
enough stimuli for our brain. A just balance is then needed to be achieved.
And this is all the more important, these days, as we are more and more
living connected to the external world in a virtual way, and this disconnects
us from ourself.
b- changing habits - learning to leave our comfort zone
We cannot live without routine, without habits. But it is essential,
in order to maintain our mental fitness, to change them regularly. Of
course, some routines cannot be really left. Once we know how to drive
a car, all the driving routines stay good, even when our will decreases.
However the way we manage our daily life can be modified almost at will.
Our schedules, the order of our activities, the detail of their content,
the speed at which we are acting, the words that we choose to express
ourself, the way we are writing, what we are eating, the clothes we are
wearing, the roads we are taking to travel, our body posture, what we
are watching, the programs that we are using on our tablet, our computer
or smartphone, ... And that doesn't include the novelties or the changes
that we can bring in the choices of our activities, of our holiday destinations,
our centers of interest, our learning, our relationships and acquaintances,
Everything. Everything can be questioned, everything can be changed (or
almost). Faithfulness to some things and some relationships remains essential,
but most of our attitudes, behaviors, and activities in our life can fluctuate
over time, even our tastes and our cultural references, even our beliefs.
In a sense, the idea would be to tend to never lose our taste to get
out of our comfort zone, psychological as material.
Here are some mental attitudes to privilege : self-discipline, curiosity,
listening (in the sens of giving more space to the other than to ourself
in the dialogue), the taste for learning.
Inversely, here are some attitudes to avoid : intellectual laziness and
laziness in general (however forcing ourself too much can lead to demotivation,
disgusting us with our undertaken actions), lasting inaction (when not
imposed by health or external factors), submission (keeping the most mental
autonomy possible, even when we are submitted to an authority, or dependent),
home-loving behaviors, disinterest behaviors.
I think that people living regular and important changes in their life,
are advantaged when aging, as long as these changes are not experienced
on a traumatic way. For, as we already have seen, stress and traumas are
the enemies of a good mental management.
Concretely it can take the following forms, for example :
moving regularly - at least move the furniture inside home - traveling,
practicing different languages, reading a lot, studying, often sleeping
elsewhere and in new places, changing work regularly (not necessarily
changing profession), and living an intellectually stimulating life :
all those factors could, by essence, be factors of avoidance of memory
diseases, as long as they are experienced on a voluntary manner (whether
they are our choices or whether we accept them as such if they were imposed
on us), and as long as they are well managed. For, if we are overwhelmed
by all those changes, they could then accelerate the aging process of
Learning or relearning to be challenged in our habits, to follow the
stream of events rather than forcing to follow the program despite the
unforeseen. In fact, loving the unforeseen, loving novelties, and seeking
For those who are reaching retirement age, take advantage of this change
to do new things, while avoiding routines, but without forcing yourself.
Do not go beyond your limits of insecurity, otherwise you will make the
inverse movement of shriveling up by reaction in order to protect yourself
from having gone too far.
I think it's better to keep the best of our habits, but I think it's
more important to change habits as often as possible, and to be able to
adopt new good habits that can replace other ones that were already good.
The choice of innovation or change has to be done daily many times regarding
all our smallest actions and decisions.
c- back to the present moment
Coming back most often to the present moment enable to reconnect to our
consciousness, to our will, to our possibility to make real choices (not
automatic ones, not dictated by the program of our thoughts), and to connect
ourself to everything, to something transcendent, whether we have beliefs
of these kind. It may sound boring basically and yet it's the only way
to honor a meeting with ourself. The more we will be able to live these
present moments, the longer we will remain in control of the vessel of
d- breaking free from addictions
This involves also to break free from our addictions. These are not only
our habits, but they have in addition the power to force us acting against
our real desires and needs. This seems obvious to understand for alcohol,
and any substance altering the level of consciousness, but there are many
other addictions, for some, less visible and yet harmful, such as the
cigarette, food addictions (coffee, need to nibble, to eat sweet, ..)
sex or even simply the need to seduce, shopping or excessive consuming,
or any other little treats that we daily offer ourself and for which we
don't succeed anymore in getting rid of them. And then most of all, everything
that connects us virtually to others, everything that gives us a pseudo-acknowledgment,
everything that is flooding us with superficiality, everything that awakes
our unwholesome curiosities or our impulses, and this through all our
connected devices : computer, tablet, mobile or smartphone, television,
All those programs, games, broadcasting, social networks, ... which plunder
our time and mostly our brain and which imperceptibly take more and more
space in our life, and end up preventing us from dedicating ourself to
what's dear to us, and even simply preventing us from taking the time
to take stock of what is the priority in our lives. Rem : video games,
for instance, are mostly designed with the very purpose of creating addiction.
Once this is created, we click automatically to restart once the game
is over, without even having realized our desire or not to go on; this
automatism being relating to addiction.