In this digital age, we are constantly bombarded with new messages, ideas, thoughts, and behaviors on how to be happy and healthy, which can get very overwhelming. Especially for those dealing with a health condition, all the information about diet changes, exercises, desk adjustments, etc. can put us in decision paralysis where there's too many choices and we end up not taking any action at all.
Conscious engineering is a term coined by Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of MindValley, in his book, "The Code of the Extraordinary Mind" to describe a system of learning that can help us choose which new (and old) ideas we actually want to utilize to help us become healthier, happier individuals faster.
Our beliefs shape our habits.
Our beliefs, which Lakhiani calls, "models of reality," shape how we think about the world, the people in our lives, and ourselves. For example, "a good family consists of parents who are married," or "I'll be happy if I lost a few pounds" are models of reality.
Our habits, which Lakhiani calls, "systems of living," are the activities that we partake in to maintain our models of reality.
For example, with the model of reality that a "real" family consists of parents who are married, you might focus a lot of your energy and create systems of living that include moving in with a long-term boyfriend in the hopes of moving your relationship to marriage. Or you might develop systems of living that involve treating your partner as indifferently or nastily as possible because you want a divorce but you "can't."
For the "I'll be happy if I lost a few pounds" model of reality, your systems of living may involve working out, going to yoga with friends, or eating ice cream and chastising yourself after.
Conscious engineering allows to you sift through the noise and choose what you want to learn.
In our everyday lives, we are constantly learning whether we know it or not. When there's a new fashion or diet fad out, some of us just learn and internalize it as "something we should do." We just think, "I should be dieting," and every time we reach for the ice cream in the freezer, we chastise ourselves. And this actually contributes to our stress!
We also carry many beliefs and habits from when we were kids that may not even be working for us as adults anymore. (I talk about my old childhood belief about productivity in the video below.)
Most things that we learn can be categorized as either a model of reality or a system of living. Conscious engineering is a way of learning that encourages you think of the things you learn everyday as one of these two things.
Let's see how...
Back to the "I'll be happy if I lose a few pounds" example - you notice that this is a model of reality that all of your friends have adopted. But you take a look at your own life and realize that you don't really like the idea of "dieting," you don't like chastising yourself, and you'd much rather focus your energy on doing healthy things as opposed to losing pounds.
So you turn this model of reality around into, "I am happy now and am living an active lifestyle," and you adopt habits that fit in with this belief.
Imagine how you would feel!
As you go about your day, see if you can categorize new ideas and thoughts you hear into either models of reality or systems of living, and then decide if it's something that you'd like to incorporate into your own life or not. This will help you cut down on all the "noise" and suggestions and ideas out there so that you can finally take inspired action!
To learn more about conscious engineering and how I applied it to my own life when it came to addressing my old crippling and stressful beliefs about "productivity," check out the video below: