There's a lot to be said for one-track minds. We live in a goal-oriented society, driven to reach ever higher in both our professional and personal lives. But what happens when the goal is all we can see? Putting off personal enjoyment, even happiness, until one or the other objective is reached can quickly spiral into a half-life in the pursuit of perfection, listless and hopeless.
Your mind has two different "modes," according to Mindful.org. One is goal-oriented, narrowing down your entire being into getting things done: the "doing mode." While useful, it can be difficult to switch from this mode into the "being mode," in which we can enjoy aspects of life unavailable to us in doing mode. Here, we can accept what's going on around us, allowing things to happen without feeling the pressure to make sure everything goes well. Many of us today have lost touch with our being sides in the pursuit of our ever-reaching societal norms. It can be difficult make the switch, and to keep both modes in balance.
Still, don't lose hope; there are methods you can use every day to help you regain that joyful, accepting being mode. PsychCentral.com advises that we start first thing in the morning. Don't mindlessly make coffee and read the paper; pay attention to the way your breakfast tastes, and give yourself a few minutes to wake up and energize before you dive into the emails.
If, during the day, you catch yourself focused on one problem and one problem only for hours at a time, take a step back. Close your eyes and let your mind wander for a few minutes, away from the problem at hand. Slow, deep breathing can help to center your mind and put things back into perspective.
The path to being alive and present from the determined doing mode is one that you'll have to work at. A small change or two every day can help you immensely, and before you know it you'll be living and breathing in the now, owning your own life again.