Do you want to be happier? Be healthier? Improve your EQ? Find meaning in life? Get more willpower? By skimming through any recent science-based books in the self-help category on Amazon, you’ll get these 3 common solutions:

1) physical exercise;

2) sleep;

3) meditate or yoga for mindfulness.

The first 2 are self-explanatory and they really are the cure-all wonder drugs from my experience. The third one is a doozy though. What is mindfulness?

Generally speaking, mindfulness means nonjudgmental observation and full awareness of sensations, feelings and thoughts. Why would you want to be more mindful? To assess the situations more accurately, make better wiser choices, and follow through.

The saying “The world is a reflection of us.”, has some truth to it because the world in your mind is indeed a creation of your mind. Our brain, being a majestic organ, has its limitations. In order to form a coherent view with efficient use of energy, it filters out a majority of the sensory input. This brain filtering mechanism has been built and refined, since the day we’re born, so your worldview is very much tied to your filters. The question is, after filtering (sometimes even altering and modifying), how close that reflection is comparing to the reality.

By practicing mindfulness, you rewire the filtering mechanism and train the brain to notice more things in the present moment, so the world in your mind could become closer to what it actually is in real life.

This kind of new-found perception leads you to a more accurate and wise assessment of any given situation, which then leads to better judgment, decisions and actions. You’re living in the present, focusing on the priority now and the actions now, instead of time traveling to relive the past and prelive the future. Of course, there is a time and place for time traveling. The point is: by being more mindful, you will be more in control of when you “travel”, instead of being carried away by your emotions and your mind.

If you want to practice mindfulness, check out this 8-week program for starter:

My daily practice of meditation and yoga has been a marvelous journey. Am committed to cultivating and nurturing my whole being, so that, whatever waves that life carries, my little boat (lol) will still float and move ahead when it’s time to.

Finally, for some inspiration, here is a poem by Roger Keyes “Hokusai Says”:

Hokusai says look carefully.

He says pay attention, notice.

He says keep looking, stay curious.

He says there is no end to seeing

He says look forward to getting old.

He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.

He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient,

every one of us has a body.

He says every one of us is frightened.

He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive — shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees,

Wood is alive.

Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.

Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.

It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.

It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your veranda or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.

Joy is life living through you.

Satisfaction and strength is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.