Autopilot is at once both your archenemy and one of your greatest allies when it comes to building productive habits and controlling your actions, inactions, behaviour and overall performance in life.
Consider this statistic; approximately 90% of your daily activities are unconscious habits. You wake up, get washed, brush your teeth, get dressed (habitually choose from only 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time*), wolf down breakfast (again, often the same choice every day), drive/walk/catch the bus to work/school/wherever-you-go-each-day, grab a coffee, etc., etc., etc.
You do all this without conscious thought or hesitation every day during the week. That all done, at the end of each day, instead of slipping between the bed sheets and drifting off content with all you have accomplished, you flake out unaware of how you passed your time other than the fact that you “made it through another day” unscathed or without ending up a complete gibbering wreck. The reason for this is because you are, for a huge percentage of your life, under the influence of Autopilot.
So who programmed Autopilot?
Over the years, you have developed habitual routines and activities and now, for the most part, blindly follow those routines to unconsciously make it through the day. While doing this, you listen to repeats of thoughts (self-talk) that have evolved to make up your natural responses to the commonplace experiences and external stimulus you encounter each day. In a way you have been “programmed”.
Whenever anything happens, your subconscious has you blindly following your programme, searching your memory for similar past experiences and prompting you to automatically react to whatever happens during your day based on those experiences. Invariably there is little conscious choice involved, you simply react in the way you always do.
“What is wrong with that” you may ask?
The danger of functioning too blindly under the thumb of Autopilot is that you slip into a realm where the world decides your actions for you. Your actions, inactions and performance are mere pre-programmed reactions as opposed to you interacting in such a way as to purposefully influence your life yourself.
When you live under the control of Autopilot, you stop making active choices and this, over time, leads to unproductive behaviour and stagnation.
If you want to improve your life, you first need to stop letting the world and your inner programming decide your actions and give Autopilot’s influence a positive bent.
CANDo Life Skill’s Inner Imp Thinking Series of books can help you start to make choices that “re-programme” your programming, so that you can begin to change your thinking to positive thoughts instead of reacting with negative or inactive, habitual responses.
While this might sound daunting and your Inner Imps Fear and Doubt are probably hyperventilating at the very thought of it, be bold and make the right choice. Choose to hit their mute buttons and have faith: this will all be easier than you, and certainly your Inner Imps Fear and Doubt, could ever have imagined.
*The Ophra Magazine – http://www.oprah.com/home/Join-Peters-Clutter-Crew-and-Get-Your-Home-Organized/10