What is it to be mindful? Half the choices we make each day are based on default options. “No-brainers”, we call them. It is backed up by common sense, and reinforced by force of habit. We go through these choices almost automatically, so that we can move on to the bigger and more important decisions of our everyday lives. There’s nothing wrong with this actually. Doing so helps us go through our days more efficiently.
But are we missing something?
A lot, apparently. There seems to be a gap in the thought process involving default options. Because it’s very convenient to subscribe to common sense, we rarely question its validity. In our minds, we might think, “Someone must have thought about this already, so why bother?”
However, as a result, we develop convictions and habits, which unbeknownst to us, can actually be doing more harm than good. We become both victims and perpetrators just because we are not fully aware of the extent of our “no-brainer” choices.
Looking beyond the plastic spoon
The plastic spoon example is just one of these many seemingly “no-brainer” options we encounter each day. Had we thought about plastic spoons in this context, would we be as excessive in our use of it? Would we have simply chosen the alternative? It is hardly about questioning the existence and utility of the object, but rather, it is more about how our perceptions and preferences change the minute we try to see beyond the usual perspective.
To be mindful is to fill our lives with active choices and deliberate actions. It is not about being too serious. On the contrary, it’s about wanting to preserve happiness and sharing it with others. It is to live with certain intensity, hopeful that doing so will move us forward to the world we want for ourselves. The design is in the details, and it’s always better that we have a hand in it.
(Image Credit: Planet Save via Free Your Mind and Think)