by Steve Pavlina
What are the actual benefits of becoming more conscious? Why would anyone care to do this? And what the heck does it even mean to raise your consciousness anyway? While raising your consciousness can certainly enhance your spiritual development, this isn't really a spiritual issue at its core. It's really about hardcore mental development.
What does it mean to become more conscious? I define it as the progressive realization of conscious mastery over your mind. This includes all of the following:
-making careful, intelligent, and deliberate decisions
-maintaining a positive emotional state regardless of circumstances
-developing empowering beliefs while purging disempowering ones
-understanding your own thought processes, emotions, and behaviors
-staying focused on what's most important while tuning out distractions
-building an accurate and effective model of reality.
All of these are skills that we develop across a wide spectrum. Traditional education teaches us basic skills and basic knowledge, but it does little to show us how to develop our conscious minds. We aren't taught how to intelligently make the biggest decisions of our lives, how to cultivate a burning desire for what we want, how to know if our beliefs are inaccurate and need to be changed, how to concentrate, etc. But over the course of your lifetime, these skills will prove far more significant than anything you learned in school.
People whose conscious minds remain underdeveloped often suffer from cluttered and unfocused thinking. Needless worries, trivial distractions, inaccurate observations, false beliefs, and negative emotions run rampant through their thoughts, and most of the time they aren't even aware of it. It's like being stuck in a mental fog. When you talk to such people, you can sense they aren't fully there. The lights are on, but no one's home. Ask them an important question like, "What overall purpose have you chosen for your life?" and you'll likely get a blank stare in response. Because they don't really have control of their minds, they live reactively instead of proactively. Such people are virtually powerless. They essentially do what they're told and try to stay out of trouble, mistakenly assuming this condition is the best they can expect of themselves.
"When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are"
"The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future — which, of course, can only be experienced as the Now" - Eckhart Tolle
by Steve Pavlina