Everyday you'll find yourself reaching for the autopilot button or won't even realize that you're already on autopilot.
Whats autopilot? Well that's when you find yourself wandering your thoughts, staring off in some direction with a blank look on your face or scrolling through your phone and wondering how 2 hours went by already.
During our autopilot flight we fly further and further from our goals and joy of life. Our ability to have enjoyment in life comes from our actions, when we take over as pilot and navigate ourselves towards our hobbies, passions and goals. Refraining from hitting that autopilot button is a skill that you must be aware of and not allow yourself to fall into.
A new study of over 2,000 participants suggest that being on autopilot gives us no happiness and we gain most of our joy through activities that keep us engaged in the present. Here's a excerpt from an article by David Rock about the study:
"It turns out that just under half the time, 46.9% to be exact, people are doing what's called 'mind wandering'. They are not focused on the outside world or the task at hand, they are looking into their own thoughts. Unfortunately, the study of 2,250 people proposes, most of this activity doesn't make us feel happy.
The study was designed to find out what kind of activities people did throughout a day, and which made them happiest. Mindwandering was just one of 22 possible activities people could list.
Researchers found that people were at their happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer." (psychologytoday.com)
The main lesson here is that we must stay in control of our mind and stay present with what is going on around us.