How To Live A Scriptless Life

I bet you clicked on the link for this blog post only to find out what “scriptless” means, right? Scriptless? I think you know “merciless”, “brainless” or even “topless”, but “scriptless”?, what’s the thing with this word, after all? Well, I like to think I invented it (didn’t find it in a dictionary anyway). And it literally means: “without a script” (yeah, right).

Beyond this rather light introduction there’s a far more serious theme for this article, and, at least for me, a far more important challenge: how to avoid playing roles in our lives? Yeah, this is serious stuff.

Unconsciously playing games is happening more often than we know. For the vast majority of our time, we’re acting on auto-pilot. Some of these behaviors are useful (like answering to a “hello” instinctively: it makes your social life easier). But some of them, and I dare say most of them, are poisonous. We’re repeating stuff we engrained in our behavior when we were kids. We didn’t have the tools and experience to analyze those behaviors, we took them for granted. We became a Victim, a Rescuer, or a Persecutor. There are many other scripts, but some of the most common are those three, and they form the foundation for the social games people play.

So, how to live a life without playing those roles? How to avoid being caught in the trap of automatic thinking and reacting? How to break free from your early conditioning? I would very much lie if I would tell you right now that you’ll find the answer to those questions by reading this blog post. I know that for sure. I know that by claiming that, I will in fact play the role of the Teacher. You know the type: the one that claims to know everything and put himself on the pedestal of the verified science. And I’m not that. It will be only a script.

But I know that after reading this article you will start to ask some questions. Many of them won’t have answers. And, even worse, many of them will have answers, and you won’t like them at all. Let’s start.

My Main Script

One of my main scripts is “be good and good stuff will come to you”. This script was created during my “domestication”, or childhood, a period in which I was exposed to the reward / punishment binomial. If you behave the way we tell you to (you are good) we will reward you. If you don’t (you are not good) we will punish you. This script is so powerful and so deep in my being that I’m totally frightened only by thinking at it.

How many times was I “good” although my guts told me not to play the expected role? Thousands of times. And what happened? Was I rewarded? Here comes the confusing part: nope. I wasn’t always rewarded. Sometimes I was, sometimes I wasn’t. Which totally confused me. The initial script stated that if I do a certain sequence a steps, a certain result will emerge. Well, it didn’t. Why?

Because life is not predictable. Life is all about change. About new stuff. Trying to coerce life into a set of fixed rules will not work. Every time you’ll be exposed to a new set of events, into a different context. Every time will be different. So, shrinking life into the pattern of “be good and good stuff will come to you” simply won’t work. It requires a great deal of effort, patience and persistence to coerce life into something  predictable. And if this huge effort will eventually work, if it will really create a sustainable Universe around you, that Universe will be incredibly small and… yes, predictable. Which is another word for boring.

The Business Man Script

Back to my script now: how did it worked? Well, let’s take the business side of my life. By now many of my readers know that I had an online business for the last 10 years, that I successfully sold two years ago, and that experience was the inspiration for one of my most read ebooks so far “30 Sentences For A Millionaire Mindset“. Yeah, exactly. I was a succesful business man. And that ebook will really give you 30 sentences to create a millionaire mindset.

But let’s go a step beyond the “business man” label. Did I really wanted to be a business man? What was my motivation for those 10 years? What was my drive? Unfortunately, it wasn’t a genuine desire to create value. I wish it did, but it wasn’t. It was a script. The script of “make a lot of money and people will accept you and value you as a person”. As you can see this is a variation of the script “be good and good things will come to you”. I use to call this variation of the script “the biggest bullshit ever”. Notice the word “bullshit” in my article? Good. Because I will write it again: “bullshit”. A big, smelling bullshit.

That script took a few years out of my life. Each and every day I woke up with the firm conviction that if I would be a successful business man, if I would  make a lot of money and build an image of success, good things will happen. Never really knew why this would happen, actually, it was just a thing I knew. Didn’t have to know: it was all in the script. So, I learned the rules, implemented them and become successful. Was I successful in terms of my script? Absolutely. Was I happy? Nope.

There were moments in my career as business man that I really enjoyed, There were other moments in which I would rather be in some exotic place, but I didn’t. I stayed there at the office because I had to play the script. Looking back in time, the enjoyable moments were very few. And they lasted only a few days. The rest of the time, meaning 10 years, I was on auto-pilot. I was putting to work some skills, but without putting my soul, my self or my life into it. A robotish approach. An actor playing a script.

By now you may start to understand what’s the problem with those scripts and why they are making us unhappy. A script will take away your freedom. Your joy. Your enthusiasm. A script will drastically limit your choices, your experiences, your challenges. A script will make you dead alive.

The Intricacies Of Playing By The Script

Now, let’s go back to the main script “be good and good things will come to you”. Many religions are promoting this. Many social norms are also enforcing this behavior. All your education is filled with processes that will validate this script over and over. Be good, answer with kindness no matter what and you will be rewarded. Possibly in heaven.

But what happens when, at some point, your life is at stake? What happens, for instance, when somebody is really getting on you, affecting your physical integrity, or your status, or your values? You have only two choices: one, to play by the script (in this case the “be good” script) the other to reject the script and do something different.

That’s a very interesting point in playing by the script, by the way. I call this the “engagement” point. We do have a reaction time, although we’re not really using it. Even at a physical level, from the moment a certain stimulus gets to your brain, to the point you give an answer to that stimulus, there’s a small interval, under a second, in which things are pondered by the brain. During that time the brain searches for the best reaction to that stimulus. If the brain was trained to give a pre-established answer, it will most likely give it, of course, but fact is there is some reaction time. And that’s a good news.

At this point of our example, the “engagement” point, something interesting happens. If you chose to respond by the script and give back some “goodness” reaction, you may get hurt. Your physical integrity will be affected or your values will be undermined, whatever: something bad will happen. But the script will tell you that this is ok. You will be rewarded if you responded with kindness. The script doesn’t tell when exactly, but you would expect to be pretty soon.

In my experience, this isn’t happening. Nor soon, nor late, it isn’t happening at all. You’ve just been abused and your continuous hope for a change won’t change anything. And you know why? Because your reaction wasn’t a genuine one. It was a standardized, categorized, unconscious reaction to a certain stimulus. Believe it or not, like it or not, you’re acting the same way Pavlov’s dog is acting. You’re not assessing, you’re not taking the time to evaluate the current context.

If you would take the time to evaluate your context, you will discover something interesting: the script-based reaction is not the best one in that specific context. Maybe it was, in a different context, sometimes in the past, and your memory is giving you some hints about that, but in the current, specific context, responding with kindness will be just wrong. It’s like doing nothing when your house is on fire, or when a car is approaching you full speed, or when you fall down the stairs without trying to stop the fall.

A script based reaction is rooted in some pre-defined rules and we expect those rules to function everywhere. Well, it they don’t. Maybe that initial reaction may have been correct at some point (you were good, so you weren’t punished) but that doesn’t automatically mean it will be correct in all contexts. That’s the biggest trap of the scripts. We love to think that we created a certain pattern that will protect us in the future. That we “learned” something. Well, maybe we did. But what happens right here, right now is unique. It needs your full focus and attention to assess it and act accordingly. It may appear that the script based reaction was the best one, or it may appear that a new reaction, which will actually break the script, will prove beneficial.

A very big obstacle in living a scriptless life is that we think that trying something new will put as at risk. We tend to live with the comfort sensation of the script, which will tell us: “do this, and you’ll be fine” but in fact we have no way to know it. Each second of your life is different. Each moment is unique. And each context requires your full attention and presence to understand it and make the best of it. And if you do that, you’ll soon realize that this is the normal approach. The script based approach is the one that will put you at risk.

The Relationship Script

Now think about being in an abusive relationship. By the way, an abusive relationship is not only about violence. A partner may abuse the other one in various ways, from lack of acceptance up to lying or cheating. I’ve been in quite a few abusive relationships (I told you, my “be good and good things will happen to you” script was pretty powerful) so I know it can get pretty bad without violence.

So, when you’re in this abusive relationship, you have a choice: accept it (be good) or don’t accept it (break the script). When you accept the abuse, you reinforce the script, but you also reinforce the behavior of the other person. They don’t know you’re playing a script. They don’t know you acknowledged the abuse, but still, you decided to “forgive and forget”, they think you’re enjoying it. They think you gave them permission. And the abuse continues on and on, based on your own permission.

Now, what happens if you don’t accept the abuse? First thing: you will break the script. And that will have some immediate consequences. Your internal voices will start telling you: “nothing good will come out of this, because you didn’t respond with kindness”. And, depending on how powerful your script is, those internal voices can be pretty strong. It will be hard to ignore them. But at the same time, something magical will start to happen. Only outside, this time: the abuser will get an unexpected signal. Oh, so you don’t like it, after all? Ups.

From now on, the situation can evolve in several ways. The abuser may think “you’re just joking”, “or you’re playing hard to get”, and continues his abuse. In this case, sticking with your initial approach will make things clear sooner or later. Or, the abuser may realize that you simply don’t like to stay in that relationship and leave you alone (that happens very seldom, I know).

Fact is that even if your internal script was broken, the outside reality was modified in your favor. You sent out a different message, based on your genuine reaction, and that message completely changed the context, right now right here, not at some point in the past. The current context may be better or worse, but what really matter is that you actually get a grip on it, you modified it and now you know you may change it again if you want.

How To Live A Scriptless Life

Like I told you, you won’t find the answer to this in my blog post. But I can share with you my experiences in trying to overcome this limitation. And one thing that proved really helpful to me was a framework called “Assess, Decide, Do“. By framework I understand a set of simple rules which you consciously follow instead of automatically giving up control to a script. I created this framework a year ago and it surely helped me a lot since then. I can’t say I’m not following any scripts now, but at least I can spot them much easier than before. Now I know if I’m in a script or not.

So, what’s this framework about? Well, it states that we’re having only three main realms in which we are acting: the Assess realm, the Decide realm and the Do realm. Our life imbalances are in fact imbalances of one of those realms. Living a scrip-based life would be an imbalance of the Assess realm: you’re acting without thinking (assessing).

Assess – Decide – Do In A Nutshell

Assessment is the state in which you analyze, compare, learn and store your experiences.

Decision is the state in which you project your next reality. You’re coming to this stage after finishing an assessment session completely.

Doing is the state in which you’re using focus to create your next reality. You’re doing only after you have a clear decision to follow.

Each of these states are maintained by your focus and you’re shifting from one state to another by being in flow.

Flow is not a measurable concept although we can refer to it as bigger, lower or we can define some quality of it. Flow is usually perceived as your capacity of enjoying and alignment with your current context. Most of what we call joy, happiness or exhilaration is in one way or another a variation of a great flow we’re experiencing.

If focus will be the main tool for creating your reality we may refer to the flow as the master glue for keeping the pieces together. A healthy flow will allow you to go from a complete assessment to an atomic decision and that will lead to a totally immersed activity of doing.

That’s a very short description of the framework. If you want to know more, just click on the links above, they will take you to more detailed articles on this topic.

Now, how this framework will apply to a scriptless life? Well, is much more simple than you think: just be aware of what happens to you (Assess), make a decision based on this assessment (Decide) and act upon it (Do). Then restart the process.

Any script can be killed if you’re continuously assess your current situation. There may be times when you will shift from one script to another, based on how deep your scripts are engrained in your behavior. You may realize that you have scripts in scripts, which in turn are part of other, bigger scripts… But as long as you try to keep each of the three states pure, you will eventually find a way to control the scripts. Maybe you won’t be able to overcome the script response completely, but at least you’ll be able to exert some sort of control over it.

It Will Work For Me?

I don’t know. It worked for me. And it still works pretty well. But one thing I know for sure: it won’t work 100%. It won’t free me completely. Being completely independent from scripts is a state of bliss. I guess this is what Buddhism meant by “samadhi”. And this is what Jesus meant by “reborn”. But I don’t think it will be possible in this current context. Or if it is, it will invalidate the context all together.

Ok, let me explain: meeting really free people around us will never work. We won’t find any. Why? Because we’re searching them using this world tools. And they are free in another world. They become free of this world.

We’re applying the script valuation instead of a scriptless valuation to their status. Maybe they are poor and they don’t have a house or own a car, those free people. Our script valuation will tell us they aren’t free, they have to do some work to get a house and a car. Maybe they aren’t famous. They’re just some anonymous faces passing by, enjoying life so thoroughly that it will make them shine from the inside. But nobody knows that they’re enjoying life so much. How could that be? Our scripts are telling us that a free man should be successful, visible, famous.

You see now? Although we may physically live in the same Universe, in reality we’re galaxies away from each other.

So, my travel to become a scriptless individual is going really well, but I may still be around for a while. And maybe, just maybe, the moment I’ll start to look strange to you, the moment I won’t fit in any of your definitions of success, the moment I will start doing or writing about things which aren’t common sense, maybe at that point I will start to enjoy my scriptless life.

How about you?

41 thoughts on “How To Live A Scriptless Life”

  1. My GTD lists are my scripts. Perhaps I could make a hybrid workflow with ADD, taking the parts of GTD that worked for me, without living on auto-pilot off my lists?

    • This is what I do, Andrew. I pushed the whole GTD approach into the “Do” realm. First, I Assess if something is ok, overloading my system with it. The I Decide (like signing the contract: bounding it to time and space) when and where I’m going to do it.

      And in the Do realm I apply some of my GTD rules, like the 2 minutes rule, organizing actions by next actions and so on.

  2. I love the terminology- a scriptless life. Living “by the script” is not really living. To me that is existing.

    I began practicing mindfulness a few years ago. It is not easy because our society is so full of things that make it easy for us to just exist on auto pilot. Nonetheless, I believe we can make a conscious choice to be more mindful of every moment. This could take many many many years, but the key is to get started.

    • Absolutely: living by script is existing 🙂 I alose loved your point about the 30-60 minutes awareness limit, totally with you on that one.

  3. hi dragos,

    nice post, very good written, good TA material
    i was wondering, wouldn’t it be hepful to get the help of a TA therapist too when trying to deal with the script? cause, as you said, most of it is run unconsciously, so injunctions, attributions, rackets and so on run 24/7 in our mind to reinforce the script we set when we were very young; i mean assertiveness is crucial and sometimes this is not enough

    what do you think?

    • Following my Assess-Decide-Do framework, that is a thing you should first Assess. It’s up to you. You know better. If you think you can go along with a TA therapist, then by all means, make a Decision, and Do it!

  4. Hi Dragos,

    Wow, there are a lot of powerful messages in this article that I’m not sure where to start. I will say that as we go (and grow) through life we are constantly in a state of flux and trying to evaluate what has meaning in our lives. I personally don’t think you can have a ‘scriptless’ life, because isn’t that just one way of looking at the world? Your current worldview? You can definitely decide if you want to follow your current script or choose a different one. What worked for you in the past (or didn’t work, in many cases) can be changed by your belief system. The more we know and are exposed to, the better we can adapt that knowledge. I quite like your Assess-Decide-Do framework and can see how following it can move you forward in life, rather than being stuck following the wrong script.

    A very thought-provoking and insightful article. Thank you for sharing it.


    • Thanks for the comment Karen, and yes, the more aware we are, the easier to change our current scripts. But the real value is to have no script at all. Just be there and live now.

  5. Just started reading your blog as a suggestion from a friend when I asked for some motivating stuff. It’s really an open-minder, helped me clarify some things, but I’m still crunching it. Thanks!

  6. Very interesting article.

    Once, long ago, I read from a “well-known guru” that it is required to define the roles in life. I live by them. At the beginning, it seemed logical. Accept a certain system of behavior, by this role, live by this behavior (these rules) and you will progress…

    So I tried. I determined the exact roles and lived by them. It began well. I improve on my work. I improve a few more things, but something I was missing. Over time I have felt increasing pressure and stress. I did not realize why, but I realized that playing all those roles is a little bit annoying.

    Then I read in some article (I think it was by Eckhart Tolle) that it is possible to reject all roles in the life… because I felt that something was wrong with life in the roles, I tried that. 🙂 I “invented” the method. I think I even wrote about it somewhere. Sit quietly, like meditation, and simply rejected the interpretation of roles. Just live in the present moment of calmness. I felt uncomfortable at the beginning. But then I felt freedom. Probably something like ‘scriptless’ life… 🙂

    You see Dragos, this article has come as a good “upgrade” of my previous methods. 🙂 Outstanding!

    • Hey Marko, thanks for the nice words. Eckhart Tolle is clearly one of the few guys living a scriptless life who are also very popular. And I think he’s doing a great job at letting people live to their highest potential… 🙂

  7. Hi Dragos,
    I love the idea of leading a ‘scriptless’ life. I have found the true joy in life is creating brand new epochs for ourselves. How can we create ourselves anew if we are stringently adhering to a script that was handed down to us?

    The power of a script is knowing we are the script writer and are playing the starring role. So let us be movie stars and not think we have to play the same role ad infinitum. We can create fabulous scripts with burning desires and inspired actions… OR.. we can create a series of melodramas and banality that puts us in conflict with the world.

    • Thanks, that was really powerful. The idea of creating your own script as opposed to following an unconscious one is surely an appealing one. Depending on how much you want to really surrender to that new script, it can be the path to a scriptless life.

      But there’s a trap. Playing a role which once was nice over and over again, without really taking into account reality could be as devastating as playing the unconscious roles…

  8. Hey Dragos!

    Good stuff, buddy. Jonathan is right, this is definitely something to which many people aren’t ever aware of, scripts in my opinion can also be a good thing, as long as we’re all aware of them.



    • Just being aware of them is a good start. The real fun starts when you’re actually start to shrink their influence on your day to day life. It’s like being 10 kilos lighter all of a sudden.

  9. Dragos my friend, the fact that you can see through your own ingrained scripts is huge in the realm of awareness. I call these scripts “programed response patterns,” and yes, we are all running thousands of them subconsciously.

    Seeing our “true self” means being able to identify who we are aside from those scripts and it looks like you’ve done that. Congratulations, this is a level of self-awareness that very few ever experience. It’s the point where we really start to experience life in a wonderfully unique and exciting way. This was a great article!

    • Hey, Jonathan, thanks so much for being around. And you are perfectly right, the moment you identify those “programmed response patterns” you enter a new stage. It comes with the cost of loosing your usual, familiar self and this cost can be really tough at times. You realize that you are not who you thought you are. But if you manage to get over this stage, many fantastic things are starting to happen. 🙂

  10. Have you read Eric Berne books? I recommand “What do you say after hello”, a book about life scripts and how to get rid of them (the part about escaping form a life script is written for psychoterapists but anyone can read and understand).

    • Yeap, the previous post is about Eric Berne’s Games People Play book. I will have a look at this one too, thanks for the tip.

  11. I agree with you that we living a script life. But without them we will have to decide again and again for each small thing.
    Think that you must decide every time what type of ice-cream you want.
    If you don’t have the script to tell you fast that you ate vanilla ice-cream and you like it, you could spend hours to decide what ice-cream you want.
    Scripts are usefull, because they spare the effort to think too often, and they save brain energy.
    I think we must accept that we use scripts (this is the way brain works) but we must reevaluate them once in a while.
    We must put ourselfs in situations were our scripts don’t work, in this way we will be force to rewrite them.
    The problem is that we don’t accept to rewrite them because, we don’t accept that we could make mistakes.

    • Some of the scripts are fundamental but those are pushed deep down in our unconscious mind. At a physiological level, the fear centers are in the limbic (or reptilian) brain, one of the oldest part of the brain. If you put your hand in the fire you’ll get burned, that’s the type of script which can be found there. These types of scripts, which are fundamental for survival, are important, and we shouldn’t decide over and over again.

      But the other ones, including the ice-cream script, are really excess baggage. I would rather decide every time (and actually I do) what type of ice-cream I want, because otherwise I wouldn’t really enjoy it. It would be just an auto-pilot experience. And I don’t know about you, but me, I love ice-cream 🙂

  12. I found some awareness about my own script in meditation combined with some breathing techniques. Other than that, it’s better to just embrace it. The script will determine what to do, what to decide and what to assess. It’s all automatic and flawless, and once you understand it, you can detach from the actor role and play a little bit of director, adding twists and making the movie lots of fun (even a masterpiece).

    • That’s an interesting perspective. Creating a script to get out of the script. The “reboot” or the “shutdown” script? 😉

  13. Great post!

    I just began my journey of locational independence by selling my possessions and heading down the road on a bicycle I call Magellan! I had my first stop at a coffee shop today. I call my Blog Traveling Magi because for 25 years I’ve immersed myself in the study of astrology, the symbolic language of the stars. A lot of people think astrology is about predicting the future but it’s really about aligning yourself with the archetypal textures of time and using the ingredients that life is providing during any given season of the soul. In this context, you are staying open to the flow in a state of spontaneous being. As I ride my bike from Boulder toward Nelson, BC I see it easy to develop a script of the wandering gypsy, but the fascinating aspect is that you never know what you’re going to encounter over the next hill, so you are forced to stay openminded, spontaneous, and on with the Tao!

    • Hey there and thanks for connecting. I’m studying astrology myself (astrologybits is another blog of mine and you can also do a search on this blog for some astrology related articles). What I loved about astrology is the fact that you get an enlarged view of the causes, but that doesn’t invalidate your own will. This is fantastic. It’s like suddenly starting to see in infrared or being able to know when exactly it’s going to start raining, but without being able to run from the effects of the heat or of the rain. You still have to manage to go through the rain somehow. Only you know better when the rain will come and why.

  14. Hi Dragos, after being distracted by many things, this post of yours caught my attention again.

    Did you know that there is actually a thing called “script theory”? Eric Berne has written about it.

    I do believe that a scriptless life can be achieved, though it might be a lot of work, overcoming fears until finally reaching a state of total fearlessness. That’s what I BELIEVE, but of course, believing means: “not knowing”. As for me, I am still practicing and have not come far enough yet to say for sure 🙂 Although believing AND knowing is worth being considered a valid state of mind as well, if you’re asking me! 😀

    Besides many other things you mentioned, I go along with the things you said about Buddhism and Jesus. IMHO a human being’s consciousness can reach this state of being “reborn”. And THAT is not the end but only the beginning – a thing called open minded freedom, enabling us to keep collecting new impressions, constant learning and growing our experience without any automatism at all.

    • Uli, the previous post is based on Eric Berne’s book, so I know the book. Berne’s approaches are more from a psychological point of view, while I try to see a more holistic approach. And yes, I think Buddha and Jesus were totally scriptless. 😉

      • I am wondering whether “holistic” is sort of another (positive) term for saying “scriptless” ( == holistic thinking == freedom !== automatic behavior).

        Holistic thinking means no limitations in our own thinking imho. This freedom is NOT to be confused with the absense of an ethical standard of the individual being from a human point of view. If somebody abuses freedom after overcoming scripted behavior, there is actually just another script at work, not freedom. So, “Freedom” also can be an illusion, I guess.

        Isn’t it all about integrating our fears and experiences? There is some interesing writing about Good and Evil related to the “danger” of freedom. Of course it is questionable how to handle freedom when overcoming some of our automatic behaviors. Also I think that those categories of Good and Evil are just black and white thinking and thus motivated by some script, which was established in the very early days of our individual lives. But it seems to me that the truly Beautifil Mind is full of colors. At least this feels more like an agreeable way of thinking. With this attitude in mind: Can it also be fun to discover one’s own scripts then, discovering “more colors”?

        When I was reading Berne’s book it actually scared me a lot because I felt how well it described things going on in my own mind. By that time I was very much focused on the destructive impact of scripts on different kinds of relationships. Seeing my own truth of automatisms was hard to swallow. Embracing even the most scary insights is exactly the challenge towards scriptless behavior and holistic thinking, isn’t it?!

  15. Hey Dragos,

    I really enjoyed this post. I had the same “be good and good things will come to you” mindset for years. Some paths that led down were… “be smart and you will be successful”, or “be nice and you will be happy”. But I never realized until the last couple years of my life that, while being smart and good and amazing qualities to have, they have no connection to making your life how you want. Your, assess, decide, do mentality is a lot better and is what I have been changing towards.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Darren L Carter

    • Absolutely! Is not what you are taught, it’s what you see and experience for yourself. Just because “they say” something would be in a certain way, it doesn’t necessarily mean it would be in the same way for you.

  16. Dragos,
    Interesting article indeed nad your in-depth approach toward explain the “scriptlessness” was intriguing. I liked the Assess – Decide – Do formula and I can see how it help us re-qrite the scripts.

    We can’t really be scriptless……we can only re-write it in my opinion.

    • Re-writing the script is one thing, being totally scriptless is another. I still stick with my opinion: scriptless is the way to go. Just because you have a “better” script, that doesn’t make you scriptless.

  17. Hey Dragos,

    Someone was telling me recently that we are an auto-pilot the vast majority of time in a day, and we can only be on conscious control for about 30 to 60 minutes every day. More than that and it gets draining, exhausting for us.

    That’s not a lot of time! And I think we need to take this into account when implementing changes in our lives. Making small but gradual steps, using those 30 to 60 minutes, but using them every day, is the way to go from my perspective.

    • I don’t usually reply to specific comments, but yours struck me as interesting, and I have to respectfully disagree. I think it is absolutely possible to be mindful throughout an entire day. I also don’t believe in small gradual steps. If you want something badly enough, it can happen. However, massive change requires massive action.

      • We can all play word games about what it means to be mindful, or conscious, or whatever, but Eduard’s point is still valid. People who actually study the brain estimate about 95% of behavior comes from automatic or unconscious processes. So if you are awake 16 hours a day, your behavior would be stemming from your conscious mind only 45 minutes a day. Exactly what Eduard indicated. Whatever you want to believe you are not acting consciously all the time or even remotely close to it – not if you are human anyway. Not only that you wouldn’t want it to be otherwise. The tiny capacity in your working memory just doesn’t allow you to process that much through your conscious mind. This kind of automatic behavior is what allows to be the thoughtful humans that we are. Otherwise our minds would be so busy with the routine that they wouldn’t have the bandwidth for any higher thought processes.

        Have said all that, Dragos article still has a lot of merit. Within the small percentage of conscious decisions we make, some people are many, many times more conscious than others. And that makes all the difference in the world.

        • Cheers Stephan, thanks for adding more perspective to it. I see where you are coming from. Maybe a full day is not possible, but I still think I can do better than 30-60 minutes ; )

    • I agree that 30 – 60 minutes is considered normal in our society. But normal is not natural. Normal just means that it is typical–and it is. However, I wouldn’t underestimate our ability just because of what most people do. I say stick with the 30 – 60 minutes if you’re content with living life like the majority of people in your society.

      • Stephen, Nea

        Totally with Nea on this one. The average is just the average. Enlightening won’t emerge from average but from pushing the limits. I’ve been in situations where I was forced to stay awake (and highly awake) for 5 days and nights in a row (I also wrote about that in a >a href=>blog post). That period taught me that you can push over if you really want and the results were well worth the effort.


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