Conscious direction can be described with some simple synonyms that will give you an idea of what it really is, such as your purpose. Keep in mind that your Conscious Direction, as it relates to your self-actualization, must be beneficial to you. It must be fair and maximize your happiness without negatively affecting the happiness of others.

The synonyms I use that relate to Conscious Direction include words such as focus, decisions, attention, and gut-feelings. You may have noticed these words throughout these posts. Conscious Direction is conclusively the actions we take, that we can rationalize beyond the influence of our reactionary subconscious mind, in order to effect change in our lives.

Remember, your reactionary subconscious mind simply wants you to stay put! It wants you to continue down the road you are on. If you are unhappy, then don’t listen to it. There are some simple but powerful realizations that stem from the nature of Conscious Direction, one of which being the nature of humans to seek pleasure and fulfillment and to avoid pain! Obviously!

We as people never attempt to make a decision that we feel purposefully harms us unless there is an equally or more tempting beneficial consequence to that decision (Risk-Management theory). We like to minimize pain, sometimes at great costs to our personal fulfillment. Rarely will people choose short-term pain and effort because of the perceived long-term beneficial consequence (such as exercise, etc.).

Others choose to pursue short-term pleasure, in the belief that it will aid immediate feelings in an attempt to avoid long-term pain consistently over time. This is the same as “chasing the dragon” so to speak, and it isn’t very helpful to us.

The inherent issue is that this model (Short-Term Pleasure, Long-Term Pain) is addictive. It often becomes so immediately fulfilling that it becomes a reactionary measure through its continued practice. It even becomes “uncontrollable” to some, hence the reason for various forms of addiction to incur, even despite long-term consequences, such as drug abuse, relationship abuse, etc. The antidote? Conscious Direction.

Conscious Direction is, at its core, the nature of the human decision-making process to reduce the amount of pain and increase the amount of pleasure experienced throughout all of life immediately, and in the future.

We as human beings’ function as a direct result of our choices. Despite any of your current circumstances, results in your life stem from your decisions about what to focus on.

The directions in which we choose to give our focus provide us the guidance with which to create actions in our lives. Therefore, it becomes obvious that your actions hold a greater amount of pull towards who you become, and who you are, in the life you’ve chosen than anything else.

Thoughts push you into action, and actions pull things into your life. All that you have in your life now has been a result of the pull of your actions.

In my studies of the teachings of great philosophers, I’ve come to notice a stunning similarity. All actualized (and happy) people exhibit some form of the same habits. They all are successful individuals, not by our current definitions of success, but successful to themselves.

In other words, they recognize their own fulfillment. They don’t require external acceptance of any sort! They are all that they need.

As a result of this common, but underrated, understanding of the importance of actions, we can begin to form habits. Habits make up the foundation for our success, and potentially, the bulldozers that can destroy it as well.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this to be true. Perhaps you can recognize a time in your life in which you feel you can benefit from a change in pace. Maybe what you need is a change in direction or a change in the amount of energy you give towards your own fulfilling actions!

The end result of your life will be the consequence of, what I have consistently referred to as, your reactionary subconscious mind. Therefore, the true nature of Conscious Direction is not to force an unending and exhausting awareness upon yourself, this expends too much energy and potential time you could use elsewhere, but rather to force a powerful enough association of pain and pleasure that alters the habits that are currently ineffective to you and your self-actualization.

Changing these habits will ensure that you can become reactionary in ways that benefit you only, possibly the reason why many successful people believe that doing what they do, despite the enormous and amazing results, becomes relatively easy once they face the initial push that is the changing of their habits.

By the way, The difference in action and reaction is simply whether you choose to do something consciously. Most people function reactionarily, they are on autopilot in their lives! We have the power to choose what we do, day in and day out, to succeed.

Consider this, does any amazingly successful and influential person have more time than you? No. They don’t. Time cannot be considered a changeable commodity of the Active and Stagnant Potential theory that I have developed, because it is your focus and conscious direction of where that time goes that causes you to feel as though you have no time, to begin with!

If you focus and give time and energy to things that aren’t fulfilling to you, you have the excuse built in that you cannot accomplish fulfilling things without the time and energy! It’s an unfortunate cycle to live in, and one I see people get caught inside of consistently.

Time and energy towards happiness and fulfilling things, solvable by Conscious Direction.
The unfortunately common cycle of energy and time.

To direct your time to different things means you must take time away from something else. You feel as though you have no time simply because you are already focusing it somewhere differently! In other words, time is crucial only when it is relative to your energy.

You can direct time into and out of your focus by giving that focus your energy. You cannot alter time directly; you can only alter it in relation to the energy you possess or your own perceptions. Coincidentally, due to the symbiotic relationship of time and energy, the same logic is used to explain your potential energy in relation to time!

You can see that it gets confusing very quickly, I’ll describe it like this. You chose where you work, you chose your hobbies, you chose how much time you have spent with loved ones in the past. Everybody in the world only has 24 hours a day. Everybody from the most influential people to the most self-destructive people.

The difference is simply a choice. It’s the chosen conscious direction of their lives that will eventually become reactionary habits, whether those habits are good or bad.

This idea should not be belittling, destructive, or upsetting. This concept should be empowering above all else because as long as you don’t fall into the trap of victimhood, you can now consciously choose everything that your life consists of!

All of the emotions you feed energy too, all of the time you give to yourself and others, and all of your distribution of energy into doing what makes you feel alive, you can choose all of it!

Conscious Direction is as important as any other Principle of Self-Actualization (you’ll find these in my book, Soon to be released! The Potential Dichotomy) because although you will go somewhere with time and energy alone, that “somewhere” may not be where you want to go.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Focus

Conscious Direction: focus, the great tool for directing personal resources.
A lens demonstrating the clarity of proper focus! Usable in your own Conscious Direction!

Something that all the great leaders in the world have, that many people don’t utilize enough, is the power of focus.

By directing your resources of Energy and Time towards choices that you have neglected, you are essentially pushing those choices to the forefront of your life. Those choices (if they are beneficial to your happiness) will be much more real to you, much more reliable, and much more powerful.

Conversely, if you were to direct your self-actualization resources of energy and time away from things that fulfill you (maybe even things you currently focus on), then you would be pushing them to the back of your personal importance spectrum and allowing them to wither away.

The reason this is important is that you can make both of these circumstances work for you, or against you. Consciously directing your energy and time into choices that are not in alignment with your goals effectively pushes those goals (due to the law of limited energy) to the rear of your mind.

An example will make it clear…

I have limited potential energy to give throughout the day. If I direct more energy and time towards my reading, I will, therefore, have less to spend on my writing. If writing was of utmost importance to me, I should consciously direct my resources of energy and time to write, instead of reading. Simple, right?

If I do this for long enough, and with consistency, it will become a reactionary habit, and become easier for me to accomplish without much conscious effort.

The key here is habits. You can begin work right away to determine the habits necessary to manifest the realities you want!

Sorting Your Directions

Beliefs and Values, the tools you can use to sort through your directions.
The tool you need to sort your directions! Beliefs and Values.

Chances are if you are reading this, you have the awareness to ask the question as to why your life is the way it is, this is essential! By having this awareness, you have already practiced the first step in finding your true direction, the very direction that will course correct you towards happiness!

The first step is to currently question your existing reality. Most people don’t recognize this step. The mere thought that this step can go unnoticed should be frightening! Don’t be reactionary in life UNLESS you are already happy.

You see, the most frightening part of knowledge is often also related to the most empowering, the idea that we “don’t know what we don’t know”. Let me explain.

This phenomenon is often attributed to the lack of self-awareness, often in the vain of self-improvement. The fact that there is so much knowledge in the world is, as I said, both frightening and empowering. And in the current world with the internet and cellphones, all of the worlds knowledge and history is at our fingertips.

What do we do with it?

We use it to get in fights with complete strangers and watch videos of cats. Knowledge is frightening in the sense that we will never know all of it, empowering in the sense that there is always more to know!

People who become puppets to their own self-limiting belief systems often don’t even realize that they are. They become ruled by a thought process that does the thinking for them, never requiring them to make any conscious decisions or become aware of their reactions to external stimuli. They become exactly that, reactionary.

Our actions are controlled by our mind, if our mind is full of doubt and fear, we will represent that.
You become a puppet to the fears and doubts that control your mind.

 Let’s move throughout all the steps linearly to determine the correct process for altering your current behaviors and implementing conscious direction in a way that will eventually become your habits.

This will ultimately help you in escaping a negative reactionary process and straighten out your focus of what belongs in the respective forefront of your mind!

Step 1: It starts with the admittance:

To alter your current habits first requires the admittance that the existing ones do not benefit you. Once a non-beneficial habit has been shown to exist, most can understand the necessary steps required to change. Simply put, become aware of the process.

This is, as I described earlier, often the most difficult part, simply because you can’t seek answers to a problem that you do not realize exists. It is likely the single most important factor in reaching self-actualization. Feel glad that you have already met this task!

Step 2: The next step includes introspection

Practice looking within yourself to determine why you feel your reactions (habits) have been justified by your subconscious. The subconscious controls reactionary processes, after all, and likely there are feelings that your subconscious uses to your detriment regarding your will to change or be changed by external forces.

In the same way that some people get defensive when they feel accused, your subconscious tries to protect its view of yourself should you start questioning it in an attempt to keep your identity intact!

This is not a comfortable process but is a necessary one. Avoid blame and employing a victim mentality at all costs. Don’t try and rationalize your actions, try and determine the reason why those actions exist and why you may have employed them in the past.

Remember, you are in your current situation as a result of limiting beliefs and the unhappiness they bring. This step is necessary for self-development in any area of your life.

Step 3: Then comes the decision:

How are you going to alter your path to dump old beliefs that no longer serve you? How are you going to make the new-found revelations of your life a reality? Your subconscious will be uncomfortable the entire time, but by deciding, you will have passed the most difficult points of the process.

By analyzing your negative habits and reactions that limit your potential in step 2, you are now free to decide the best ways in which to alter them. Here is an example to clarify what this means and the effect this has.

Perhaps I notice that my mental state defaults to anger when I feel as though I have been wronged by someone. I dislike anger, and I admit that it is not a feeling necessary for me to be fulfilled.

I then would use introspection and discover that my anger stems from feelings of victimhood when others violate my set of personal beliefs! AHA!

I recognize this and can now decide not to let anger control me, or to associate it with the feeling that I can control the external circumstances surrounding me, which I know that I can’t control at all.

I will then develop a method of action (step 4) for lessening any potential anger as it arises due to similar circumstances, therefore moving energy and time away from anger and into the fourth step which is…

Step 4: Take Action

The practice of utilizing the previous steps to cause lasting change. Beware this step, your subconscious enjoys tricking you into thinking that action (towards actualization) is not within your best desiresavoid the trap of believing in your subconscious alone by constantly asking “why” it is that you perform your actions!

For example, I often see that people rationalize why going to the gym ( or controlling emotions) is a bad thing! It’s merely your restricting habits that make you feel uncomfortable! Don’t suppress your emotions, but accept that sometimes they are unwarranted and unnecessary.

Change is the result of giving less power to your excuses.
You can only choose one!

Due to the example in step 3, I can now practice the results of my thoughts and awareness. I have made the decision to refrain from using feelings of victimhood to stir my anger and from using feelings of entitlement that life needs to be the way I believe it should be, rather than the way it is.

practice this through the action of repeatedly searching for things to be grateful for. Anytime I feel an emotion that is not conducive to my self-improvement, anytime I am in a negative state of mind, I practice gratitude for the situation.

Should someone cut me off in traffic and violate my values of reciprocation, instead of anger, I internally thank them for the ability to practice patience and resolve in my emotional state. Effectively lessening the energy and time that I give to my anger and strengthening the habit of gratitude.

I have now consciously directed my resources from a negative state to a positive one, therefore creating more positive things in my life, reducing the negative things, and compounding the results through habit.

This is the result of a good conscious direction. It allows you the choice to focus on what matters most to you, and not be swayed or discouraged by others. The people in your life can do either one of two things. They can build you up or tear you down.

Limit the potential of the downside, and you maximize the potential of the upside. This is the essence of The Potential Dichotomy. Now, I’d like to make a point regarding why external influences should always be taken with a grain of salt. 

I mentioned this in my post Society suppresses your “WHY”. But it is so worth mentioning again.

Too often do we look at the current state of affairs in our lives from the viewpoints of other people.

Following the status quo/groupthink and failing to discover our own passions and reasons for existing is the quickest way to instigate the world into beating you down!

In this way, people naturally become unproductive and unhappy sheep to the thoughts of the majority. You are not a sheep. I assume that if you have a good idea of what my mission is, then you are on the track towards self-actualization.

The good news is if you’ve gotten this far, you’re doing very well because the general public spends their lives without realizing these tools and ideas exist!

Let’s spend some time to describe exactly how you can start being more aware of things you need to change. This will give you a boost and help you start to find the direction in which your Conscious Decisions should follow.

The first step in most of my practices is simply awareness.

Awareness allows you to ask the right questions of yourself, and therefore determine the right course of action. We develop the power of choice when using awareness, and we don’t need any external forces to do so with us. Remember, you are all you need.

Something becomes increasingly clearer to me in my experiences with social conditioning as a form of the brains’ “default” mode. Society loves to smooth out any rough external provocation that may go against the grain of its collective worldview. It sets up intrinsic rules to accommodate as many people as possible with no customization settings! Think of the “factory default” override settings on your phone.

In doing so, society suppresses the best asset it has, the creativity of the individual mind, and the get-it-done power of the collective mind. By demanding a specific way of thinking and snuffing out all others, social pressures teach people not to stand out, or actualize themselves, as individuals with individual skills.

Don’t fall for the trap, be your own person. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in, but don’t try and force others to agree. The beauty in the world is in its diversity. Diversity often scares people, but with the proper mindset, diversity can be greatly appreciated and beneficial.

Here is a related article on living with purpose!

-Austin Denison