This morning’s meditation was a good one.
Not only did I feel confident in my efforts and level of concentration, but I was left with the powerful phrase “is this useful?”
For meditation purposes, “is this useful” was intended to be used as means to determine the importance those thoughts that seem to invade our minds and pull us away from attending to the breath. I agree that it’s a simple mantra to return focus to the present task, but I also think it may be even more valuable.
What if we apply “is this useful?” to every challenge as we make efforts to change our supportive behaviors for the better?
Asking ourselves this question at the opportune times could make all the difference in reinforcing our desired behaviors or defaulting to our usually destructive behaviors.
If your goal is to wake up earlier to begin a productive day, before hitting the snooze alarm to get that nine minutes of low-quality light sleep, ask yourself “is this useful?” Wouldn’t it be better to score the first win of the day by getting up and attacking your first task.
When faced with the dilemma of choice when dining out with friends and selecting your meal between what you planned to eat and what looks or sounds more appetizing in the moment, ask yourself “is this useful?” Isn’t it better to enjoy the company of your friends AND stick to your eating plan to support your health and physical transformation.
When determining whether you’ll follow through on today’s intended workout or skip it to watch a movie or surf the internet, ask yourself “is this useful?” Your workout will enhance your endurance and stress tolerance, build muscle, and establish a habit of physical activity to support brain and body health.
If you’re feeling anger or resentment that never seems to benefit anyone, ask yourself “is it useful?” Once you get over it, does it change anything for better to have wasted valuable time (life?) on such negative emotions?
Even better, as yourself this question using your own name with non-first person self-talk. Instead of the simple question “is this useful?” Try “Bill (use your own name of course), is this useful?”
This method will engage higher centers of your brain that will inhibit default emotional centers that tend to knock us off course from our goals and true desires.
Start practicing this today. Write on a notecard and put it in your pocket. Check it periodically
When you feel challenged to react contrary to your intentions, just ask yourself, “is this useful?”