By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I talk about setting priorities, finding deeper purpose, and I answered some awesome questions.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: The Discipline of Deeper Purpose (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions on dealing with discomfort, setting priorities and listening to the needs of our body, being attached to habit streaks, connecting to your deeper purpose, communicating needs, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
Sea Change Webinar: The Discipline of Deeper Purpose:
Too often we get distracted, procrastinate, or get caught up in busywork, or we give in to food temptations or other urges. How can we learn to be moved by a deeper motivation, rather than shallower urges?
* We get distracted from our plan, habit, purpose very easily.
* More easily these days than ever, because of social media, blogs, news, youtube, netflix, amazon, and all the other fun things online.
* We get lost in busywork, lost in small tasks, and forget our larger tasks and purpose.
* We plan to stick to a diet but then forget about it and give in to temptations.
* Weâ€™re constantly following our urges rather than sticking to the plan.
* The problem is that we are comforting ourselves, which is a beautiful loving act, but it leads to junk food addiction, distraction addiction. Basically, the urges and distractions we run to are comfort foods for the mind.
* The mind doesnâ€™t like uncertainty & discomfort, so it runs to comfort foods.
* This leads to continual running, a habitual response to the constant discomfort of our lives.
* It leads to all kinds of problems, many of which are exactly why youâ€™re in Sea Change
* we donâ€™t always have to give in to comfort food â€” itâ€™s just a mental habit
* we could retrain ourselves to find joy in the simple pleasure of opening ourselves to a deeper purpose
* for example, if youâ€™re a parent, you know that youâ€™d be more than willing to do something uncomfortable out of love for your kids â€” or if youâ€™re not a parent, youâ€™d be happy to push into discomfort for the sake of your parents or other loved ones
* when a loved oneâ€™s life or happiness is at stake, we donâ€™t mind pushing into discomfort at all
* this illustrates that with a purpose bigger than our comfort, something bigger than ourselves â€¦ we actually are happy to forgo the comfort foods and hold ourselves in that place of discomfort, out of love
* we can bring this to our daily lives â€¦ what is bigger than ourselves? what purpose is more important than comfort food of the mind?
* what do we care about more than distractions and temptations? what fills us with love and joy and a sense of purpose?
* we can put ourselves in that place every day, with practice
Itâ€™s easy to say these things, but much harder to put into practice. The problems with putting it into practice are:
- We forget, because weâ€™re so busy, rushing around
- We remember but are in the habit of just quickly doing what weâ€™re used to doing
- We might know we planned to do something else, but at that moment, we donâ€™t care
So here are some practices to bring to each day:
- Slow Down: Move slower. Donâ€™t rush from tab to tab, phone app to phone app, meeting to meeting. Move slower, more deliberately, more consciously. Walk slower, and see how that changes things. Pause between tasks. Give weight to the spaces, to the brief moments that you can use for reflection, to think about how you want to use your day, how you want to be today.
- Be Curious: When youâ€™re slowing down, youâ€™ll notice the tendency to reach for the comfort food. You could just go towards that habitual action, just follow the urge â€¦ or you could open up the moment with a curiosity practice. What would it be like to not comfort yourself in this moment? What do you notice right now? What intention or purpose do you want to bring to this moment?
- Open to the Love of Your Purpose: Sitting with curiosity, not rushing to urges or comfort food â€¦ what is it like to bring your purpose to this moment? What is it like to be in the middle of discomfort, not needing to run, for the love of what you care deeply about? Can you appreciate and savor this love?
Part II: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- When I go through discomforts, I mentally process them as temporary – each hardship is a way to return to comfortable homeostasis (getting medicine for the child to be “back” to comfort) … Does that mean I need to completely change my approach? Or do I allow myself “pockets of comfort”?
- For me it’s more about priorities/what best be doing/when, rather than running. However, wonder how you see the balance between gentle discipline of habit, and listening to needs of the body
- When I break a streak of doing a habit for a while, I get down and struggle with being kind to myself. Tracking is motivating to me, but how do I do it without being so attached to streaks?
- Do you connect seemingly minor (but required) tasks that are part of your deeper purpose?
- I am struggling with communicating my needs to my partner. It is difficult for me to balance his (and my job’s and my kid’s) “demands” on the one hand and practicing presence on the other hand. Do you have a suggestion on how to communicate compassionately what you need to others, especially loved ones?
- Your thoughts: Living in discomfort with clutter/finances/physical health make you want to form good habits. The discomfort of performing these habits leads to the comfort in life you seek.