Day #256: Is Your Mind Wandering Right Now?

Right now, as you read this, are you thinking about something other than what you are currently doing?

According to scientist and happiness researcher Matt Killingsworth, people’s minds are wandering 47% of the time.

Did you know that people are substantially less happy when their minds are wandering, no matter what they are doing?

Did you know that people are universally happier when present and fully engaged in the moment?

That’s what Killingsworth gathered in his research project trackyourhappiness.org, which investigates what makes life worth living. In an app that invites people to report their feelings in real time, he’s gathered data from 15K people across diverse backgrounds, with 480K real-time happiness reports.

So the key to happiness, he says, is being here now.

And the “million dollar question” he then asks is: HOW do we immerse ourselves in the present moment and fully engage in the activity at hand?

Though he’s not sure of the answer, he suggests it begins with noticing when we’re not present, and continually reminding ourselves to come back to this moment.

While this perspective absolutely resonates, I also wonder: WHY do our minds wander? And WHEN are we naturally inspired to be present and fully engaged in the moment?

Focusing on how can be a bandaid. Strategies and tactics. How-to’s and best practices.

But discovering that which invigorates our spirit and aligning with that resonating I-was-born-to-be-and-do-this fire? Having that deep sense of clarity around why we do the things we do and how they impact others? Making that I-committ-every-ounce-of-my-being-to-this-purpose because time spent any other way would be a waste?

THAT alignment with truth, purpose, and reason for being is what will send us so deep into flow, and so fully engaged in the activity at hand, that the present moment is the only place we’ll want to be.

Difficult to quantify, of course. And perhaps even more difficult to experience. But worth exploring? I say that’s the point of being alive. And that feeling? There’s nothing else like it in the world.

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