Are Your Default Settings Serving You?

Quote of the Week

“As my awareness increases, my control over my own being increases.”

–Will Schutz

Are Your Default Settings Serving You?

by Nancy Birnbaum-Gerber

When you’re behind the wheel, are you aware of the individual specific actions you’re taking in order to get from here to there? Unless you’ve just learned to drive, probably not. Next time, shift gears mentally before you start the engine — focus your awareness on every action from the moment you unlock the door. Choose to become more conscious of the process. Buddhists call this ‘mindfulness’.

Practicing mindfulness can accelerate personal improvement.

In order to change patterns of behavior, we need to become conscious of them once again. These patterns have so long been a part of our lives, and are so familiar, that we’re no longer aware of them — only the results we get. To travel from intention to results more easily, we need to turn off our auto-pilot.

First, slow down and fine tune your awareness to notice your every step in the process. Observe WITHOUT judgement. Consider which pieces you need to change in order to achieve your desired outcome. What new behaviors will replace the old? How can you keep yourself conscious and aware? How will you hold yourself accountable?

There will be many more occurrences of the old behavior you want to get rid of, and the re-booting of your brain to mindfulness, before the default setting is permanently changed. This takes lots of time. Remember how long it took you to establish these patterns in the first place. Be patient with yourself and stick with it. Eventually, gradually, you will experience better outcomes.

Copyright 2007 by Nancy Birnbaum-Gerber. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Nancy Gerber, Professional Certified Coach and President of Stepping Stones can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

Is there a specific area in which you want a different outcome?

What’s the first step you need to take to move towards becoming more mindful?