Are You Living Your Life On Autopilot?

Are you living your life on autopilotThe first thing the pilot of an aircraft does if he senses that there is a problem with the plane is getting off the autopilot.

Why?

Because he knows that while the autopilot has its place, it can also turn to be deadly if left on when there is a mechanical problem with the plane.

The autopilot is not built to fix problems, it’s built to fly the plane and give a break to the pilot when everything goes well.  The autopilot can also prevent human error to some extent, but it’s not meant to replace necessary human actions in emergency situations.

When things don’t go well; when there seem to be a problem, the pilot shuts off the autopilot and takes full command of the plane.

Doing so means the difference between life and death.

What does this Illustration has to do with your Life?

Are you crashing and burning because you’re living your life on autopilot?

What do you need to do to take control and save your life, just like a pilot saves lives on a more literal sense, by taking full control of a plane if needed?

I happen to love aviation and I’ve always have the deepest respect and admiration for those men and women who are able to fly those machines into the air.

My brother used to have a friend who owned a small 4 seat plane and he would take us for a fun ride at times.  When I was living in Paris, I also used to have a friend who was a flight attendant with Air France, and she used to tell me a lot of sky stories. Because of all that, I’ve learned some interesting things about flying, and I thought that I would compare our live with flying a plane today.

There is so much similitude between the two, and I’m sure such comparison could help you understand some fundamental things of life.

Many people are living their life on autopilot, when there clearly is a problem that should make them want to take full commend of their ship (life) in order to get to a better, smoother, more rewarding, more fulfilling, and overall more successful life.

Your life may just be like a plane in trouble that is left to its own device. If so, your results might not be good.  You are the pilot, and captain of your life and you need to take control.

I know this concept itself is not easy for most people, because taking control of our life is not something most of us were ever taught as children.  As a matter of fact, we were usually taught the very opposite.  This is why it’s so hard to take the pilot’s seat for most of us.  This is why we are forgetting to take control of the ride and instead live on autopilot.

Have you Taken Off yet?

There is one thing that no pilot on any plane can do yet; it’s taking off on autopilot.  This maneuver is something that totally needs to be done manually by the pilot, whether they’re flying a Boeing 747 or a little flying match box like the plane of my brother’s friend.  There is no machine, no computer, or anything that can make a plane take off.  Only the pilot can.

This means that there are some specific actions required of him, and he must take them in order to accomplish the take off.  If he didn’t, well, the plane would stay on the ground.

How can this be Applied to your Life?

Have you taken all the steps and measures you need to take in order to go where you want to go in life?

In order to cruise on a well settled life, you must first take some specific steps to get there. Maybe the first step you need to take is changing your manner of thinking, because if your thinking is keeping you stuck to the ground, you’ll never be able to take off.

If you’re not happy where you are right now and want your life to take off, you also need to take action.  You should write a plan of action and follow through with it until you feel that you’ve done enough to take off the ground.

Try to find out what you’re missing. Is it something deep down inside that’s kept you stuck so far? For most people, that’s all there is to it.

When it’s Time to be on Autopilot

When the pilot of a plane has reached its cruising altitude, he puts the autopilot system on, so he can concentrate better on other important things related to the flight as well as relaxing, while the plane pilots itself.

Now that autopilot button can be pushed only after everything else the pilot had to do in order to get there to that point.

First, he had to learn his craft, spending hours of study and complete two full years of instance training.  Before he becomes a captain he has to fly for another few years as a co-pilot.  When he’s finally ready for it he’s allowed to take commend of the plane while under the watchful eye of the captain, until he can be one himself.

When it’s time to fly, he sits on that pilot seat and go through a prep check list with an other pilot, he taxies down the runway until he gets to the speed runway for the takeoff.  When it’s safe to do so, he speeds up and takes off.  The plane goes so fast that there is a point that they call a “no turning back point” which means that no matter what the plan has to take off.

Once the plane reaches a certain altitude, the pilot can then turn the autopilot on.

It’s the same thing with us.

We may have some specific things that we need to do in order to improve our lives. For most people this starts from the inside.  There is no talent, no gift and no intelligence that will ever serve you well if you are “broken” on a subconscious (unconscious) level. I can assure you of that!

So, let do our learning, let’s do our training, let’s do our preps. Let’s do everything we need to do to make things work before we allow ourselves to push on that autopilot button, because if we do it too soon, we might just go nowhere, or even crash and burn.

Once we have done our best to prepare for a successful life, everything will fall into place.  We get to that “point of no return” which is where good positive things are falling into our laps no matter what. This happens because we are set on positiveness, and the law of attraction just delivers according to our thoughts and feelings which in turn tunes our vibrations a certain way.

Then, and only then, can you sit and relax and put your autopilot on.

I hope you can apply this concept to your life and be ready for a wonderful upcoming new year!

You’re turn now…

What do you have to add to this. I’m listening!
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46 Comments

  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    That was such a lovely post, and I loved the comparison you made of life to that of living it on autopilot 🙂

    I too marvel at those pilots and how effortlessly they fly such huge planes, and each flight is a risk, so they take great risks as well, yet do so well. Probably it’s the same with the other armed forces, but flying a plane does take a lot courage I’d say, or perhaps we feel it that way because we can’t!

    Our life is like the plane and we are forever in a rush to reach the destination – we just zoom through it all without waiting for a break. And once our life reaches a certain stage, we switch our autopilot switch on, or perhaps then sit back and try to realize things and how it all turns out.

    You are right…it all starts from the inside when your inner self strikes you and your sub-conscious wakes up in the real sense. I wish none of us really have to press that autopilot button and live such a life.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..Do Miracles Happen in Real LifeMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Harleena,

      I’m glad you enjoy this.

      No, pilots don’t think like us, the ones who are nevervous to fly, not even flight attendants do, so they don’t feel like it takes courage to do wha they do. Just like people go to the office everyday, they get on a plane. They just don’t think that way. Plus you have more chances to die while driving than flying.

      Thank you for giving another perspective on how to compare a flight/plane to our life. That’s why I love comments 🙂

      Have a fantastic day!
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  • Mary StephensonTwitter: maryjstephenson says:

    Hi Sylviane

    Many of us have been on auto-pilot for so many years and no wonder nothing ever changes. We get up and go to a job, so automatically and come home, eat, sleep and do the same thing the next day. Someone else was running our plane!

    If we want a change we have to put in the work and not let someone else take the controls of our lives. Good analogy of what so many of us find after many years of working for someone else.

    So we learn and learn and learn some more if necessary to make the changes.

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson invites you to read..December And The Chill Of The Winter AirMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mary,

      Yes, you’re describing the autopilot so well. Just eat, sleep and go to an awful job. Not everyone hates their job, jut most of us do 🙂

      Today I got on someone’s case, because every time I ask her how you’re doing she goes “alive” in a depressed sounding voice. I told her this is really not good for you, you know, to always answer that way when someone ask you how you’re doing. Not sure she got it, but she heard me 🙂

      Yes, in order to change we have to put the work, make the effort… do something. Doing the same thing expecting different results is insanity, as someone famous said.

      Thank for coming and for sharing your thoughts here.
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  • Shalonda Gordon says:

    Sylviane,
    This is a great post. I love how you compared our lives to an aircraft. You are telling the truth right here. I remember when I was trying to glide on autopilot and hadn’t even taken off. After doing exactly what you have mentioned in this post, everything is different. I’m the Pilot of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for this post.. keep smiling

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Shalonda, and welcome here!

      I’m glad you could relate with this post and understand it all too well for having been there and done that.

      Thank you for your visit and hope to see you again soon.
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  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I love the way you mastered this analogy! It is so true when you say “that there is no talent, no gift and no intelligence that will ever serve you well if you are “broken” on a subconscious (unconscious) level.”

    We do have to acknowledge and learn all we can how our subconscious works. Those little red flags we get when we hit a bump on the road that may hold us back. We do have to question ourselves “why?”

    You know I am a great fan and avid believer of how the subconscious mind works. Through the years I’ve been working on my own. I do believe that it is still a work in progress as I grow.

    Wonderful job you did on this one!
    -Donna
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Thank you Donna,

      Yes, I said that there is no talent, no gift and no intelligence that can make you succeed if something is not right subconsciously, because I know that all too well.

      To start with, I have a friend who constantly reminds me of my talents and than he ask me what the heck happened to me 🙂 Than I know too much of my mom and uncle (her brother) who were two extremely both intelligent and talented, yet did nothing with it. So, yes, I know all too well about that fact.

      We sure are, Donna, all a work in progress, but that’s also the beauty of it. We keep growing for the best.

      Thanks for coming and have a great rest of the day.
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  • Corina RamosTwitter: notnowmomsbusy says:

    Wow Sylviane,

    This is an amazing post. Actually, I have a fear of flying but after you’ve explained how a pilot takes care of his plane and passengers, I might be more scared than I should be.

    I never realized the many comparisons there are between our life and that of a plane being on autopilot. I for one am not on autopilot. There is always some kind of turbulence so now is not the time but as you said in your closing remarks after the hard work then and only then can we activate our life’s autopilot system.

    I really enjoyed reading this post Sylviane! Happy Wednesday.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Corina,

      I feel so great when I truly see that someone enjoyed what I wrote, because I put a lot of “me” in my writing, so that’s just great 🙂

      Your sentence “I’m always in some kind of turbulence” is just genius and made me laugh out loud. I know what mean. No autopilot in turbulence. LOL!

      We are all a work in progress, but the more we know we still have work to do the least should we live our life on autopilot for sure.

      Thanks for your great comment here, and have a great rest of the day!
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  • Akaahan Terungwa says:

    Hello Slyviane,

    Why I completely agree with your likening auto pilot to human life, I beg to differ a little: if you ever want your life to mean anything, make sure that you never leave it on auto pilot! It’ll be sure to crash!! This is irrespective of the fact that you’re cruising at 20,000 feets above sea level or just 5,000.

    I love the analogy anyway…and your manner of presentation really got me thinking!

    – Terungwa

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Akaahan,

      Well, if things go super well for you, it’s OK to let it go on autopilot for a while. As they say, don’t fix it if it’s not broken, but that doesn’t mean to fall asleep on it either. Just be balanced, and always watch for opportunities still.

      I’m glad you like my analogy and thank you for your input.

      Have a wonderful day!
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Are You Living Your Life On Autopilot?My Profile

  • LisaTwitter: Lisapatb says:

    Hi Sylviane, I am NOT on autopilot right now for sure! Charting turbulance at the moment. I don’t think I stay in the autopilot mode ever for long. Things change so much around us it is hard to stay in autopilot and it is almost a danger to. I don’t like auto driving – I get bored too quickly and would rather be in charge at my own speed 🙂 I try to be ready for the next trip 🙂 Great analogy here Sylviane. Have a wonderful day ahead.
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes, I know you’re going through changes. I’ve just gone to your blog this moring first thing, because I saw your post last night, but was too tired to read it then.

      That’s great that you do not live on autopilot, but it’s an easy thing to do for many of us, you know?

      It’s better for us to “direct” the changes in our life, because as you said, change will happen anyway.

      I’m like you, I do not like to drive on cruise mode. so boring 🙂

      Thanks for coming and for keeping going. Have a fantastic day!
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  • maxwell iveyTwitter: mistermidway says:

    Hi Sylviane; The best part of this post to me was the explanation of the process of becoming a pilot. It shows how many people were involved in his training to get him to the point of being a pilot. It reminds us that very little of importance in life can be accomplished without help from friends family mentor, teachers, coworkers, bosses, spouses, etc. so, don’t be afraid to reach out to people and find those who wil help you get your own plane in the air or life going in the direction it was meant to. thanks for the excellent post and take care, max
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Max,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and the analogy with pilots and planes.

      Thank you for coming and have a great day!

  • Pritam Nagrale says:

    Very informative article. You should understand how to control your life. Leaving it on autopilot is OK to some extent but if you fully dependent on that, it may invite problems. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Pritam,

      Yes, indeed, we need to take full control of our life first and foremost. Only if we are getting to a point where things are rolling can we relax in the sense to let things be for a while.

      Thanks for your feedback and have a great day!
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  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Another wonderful job Sylviane comparing this to flying. I would have never thought about that but it’s so true.

    Some people just breeze through life doing the same darn thing day in and day out not really happy or satisfied, always feeling stuck. Never realizing that things can be different if they want.

    I use to be that way but thank goodness I had a wake up call many years ago. I think it’s important to step outside our comfort zone and see what’s possible for us.

    I love this analogy and as always, great job in explaining this Sylviane.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    ~Adrienne
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I’m so glad you made it here today 🙂

      Truth is many, many of us have been in the fog at some point, because we were just brought up that way. As Louis L. Hay says, it’s not our fault because we were taught what our parents knew and it’s not their fault because they were taught was their parents knew, but we are so fortunate to be living in this time of light where finally some things are becoming so clear to us.

      Our grandparents, parents they didn’t have too much choice (even though they had some), but as for us, we do and it only depends on if we want it or not at this point. We don’t have any excuse anymore. We have the material, the knowledge available to us (some of it totally free). It’s up to us to use it.

      I’m glad you like that analogy and thank you for your input, Adrienne.
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  • Ellen M. Gregg says:

    Sylviane, I liken being off autopilot with being mindful; present, or “in the now.” We miss so much when we get in that place of automation – including how we feel about what’s going on with us and around us. Great post! 🙂

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Ellen,

      So nice to see you here and hopefully a chance to get to know you better. You are so right. Many people so miss on what’s going on with themselves when they live on autopilot. Very good point.

      Thanks for coming and see you around soon.
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Are You Living Your Life On Autopilot?My Profile

  • marquita herald says:

    What a wonderful analogy Sylviane! There have certainly been times in my life when I’ve been on autopilot, but I have this habit of periodically shaking things up – usually about every 4 or 5 years I toss myself out of the plane to get the heart wildly pumping again. I’m actually at that point right now, so 2014 promises to be one heck of a year!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hello Marquita, and nice to have you here.

      I’m glad you like that post.

      It’s a good thing to shake things up once in a while, so as to make sure we don’t fall asleep at the wheel, so to speak, or don’t get in an autopilot mode for too long.

      I’m glad this coming year us promising for you.

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂
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  • Chery Schmidt says:

    Hi Sylviane, I just had to swing by after reading the comment on my blog today Now yu have seen me everywhere LOL

    This is an awesome post, I agree with you totally, I guess at some point down the road things can be set on auto pilot but when you are just starting to build your business you had better be present, that is if you are building a business and not just another hobby..

    Nice blog by the way, Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Chery,

      I’m glad you came here after my visit.

      Indeed for anyone starting a business, online or otherwise it’s not time to get on autopilot mode.

      Thank you for your input.

  • Kumar GaurawTwitter: kgauraw says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    Greetings from India 🙂
    A body in motion stays in motion until forced to do otherwise by an external force. Well, I believe this is true about life as well.

    We all love to have things on autopilot but unfortunately, life doesn’t like it too much. It is an adventure with new challenges, new opportunities and many many obstacles to overcome everyday. So, personally, I don’t like to use autopilot while I can use my hands and feet to accelerate while still there is an opportunity and to slow down when there is a visible obstacle on the way.

    I am a type of person who likes to have fun with life working hard, making a difference and giving my best to the world. I don’t like to go on autopilot and waste my time while still there is time 🙂

    Just the way I think and teach…. this is the way I love to live. And you, having some many things on your plate, I am sure, are the same way. Thank you for sharing the inspiration!

    Warm Regards,
    Kumar
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Kumar,

      It sure seems that you are a go getter and not someone who is going to be living as if on autopilot. That’s a wonderful way to be, and I’m sure you’ll go far this way.

      Thank you for your input and have a great week!

  • sherman smithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    I love it when a plane get to their top speed and takes off! Each time I get on a plane I imagine myself running beside it. I probably only keep up with it for only two meters, but it’s the thought that counts, right 🙂

    But I definitely understand where you are coming from with this post. We are given a pre-determined life by our parents, guardians, etc.. At least I was.. you go to school, get a degree, find a great job, get married, get a house, have children, etc…But does it always work like that? Do people find happiness with this pre-determined lifestyle? As soon as i graduated and found a great job I knew for a fact that there were many things missing that I wanted to do.

    So instead of living this monotonous lifestyle, I went for the goal and I have no regrets about it. One thing I learned from my previous job is that everything that is real is subject to change. If you don’t allow or accept change, then there will be a lot of friction within you. Allow change and be the change that you want so that you can get back in rhythm and stay in rhythm until something else comes to mind.

    Thanks for sharing!
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      Well, I had never thought about running besides a plane ready to take off, because I was too busy praying that everything goes well 🙂 but I may try one day.

      I like what you’re saying about change. Indeed if we refuse change there is going to be some friction within us. We need to accept and adapt to change. Life IS change. Nothing ever stays the same.

      Thank you for your excellent input.

  • William ButlerTwitter: wiarbu says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    What a wonderful analogy. I agree that changing one’s thinking, or philosophy on life is important, especially if it is causing them to mess up. I think if people understand and value their purpose, they will get out of autopilot rather quickly.
    I will never have my life on autopilot.

    Another important aspect I would like to add to your analogy is ATTITUDE.
    Zig Ziglar said, “Attitude, not aptitude, determines ALTITUDE.”
    With the proper attitude, regardless of circumstances (because you should never let them define you,) you elevate your mind to new levels of thinking and open yourself to new levels of success.

    I imagine you have many wonderful memories of Paris. I have never been, but it is on our travel list.

    I have flown a 3 seater Cessna, used to fly with a buddy from work, and with one of my uncles in a Piper Cherokee. It’s a great feeling!

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Bill
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you for adding this quote from Zig Ziglar. It’s well known to people in our niche, but I’m sure some people have still don’t know of it. Indeed attitude is everything. No doubt! I mean it’s just everything 🙂

      I lived in Paris for 5 years and it’s a city so beautiful that even living there I sill appreciated it’s beauty. If you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower only on pictures or on films, wait until you see it for real. It’s amazing!

      I used to call my brother’s friend a flying match box, but I have no idea what plane it was. I don’t even know how I ever got on that thing 🙂 scary as hell! I was way younger and didn’t think as much as I do now.

      Thanks for you wonderful input.
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  • Elle says:

    Hi Sylviane, what a great job you did with your description of use for the autopilot. We live so much of our lives unconsciously (on autopilot) that just choosing to be conscious a little time in each day, by deliberately choosing where our point of attention is, and our live will never be the same again.

    Good stuff!

  • Sebastian says:

    What I liked the most was the analogy on how much it takes to set the plane on auto pilot. It seems like people grow up on auto pilot without ever working to deserve being on auto pilot.

    That metaphor was genius.

    I have this sticky note that says build your 30 year old self which kind of relates to this. I plan on building all these auto pilot habits for the next 8 years so by the time I’m in my 30s I can relax a little.

    Although I know that the last thing I’ll want to do then is relax. I’ll want more.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sebastian,

      How fortunate you are to still be so young and being exposed to personal development already. I was too for a short time when I was in my 20’s like you 🙂 but unfortunately I couldn’t find what I needed at the click of a mouse back then because it was 20 years ago, and my environment was not one of personal development for sure.

      I have to come by to your and see what you’re up too. I think I did once, but it’s been a little while.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post, and thank you for coming.

  • Heather Stone says:

    Interesting analogy, Sylviane. And this is especially true for the entrepreneur, I think. Thanks so much for sharing this post with the BizSugar community. We might say entrepreneurs must first take their lives off autopilot to find the new approach necessary to produce their unique business, product or service. Then perhaps, put themselves on autopilot once again after they have formulated the plan and need to move forward into execution. Both steps are necessary to achieve a goal. What would you say are the biggest mistakes a person can make in this process?

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for coming and I’m glad you’ve found me through BizSugar.

      That’s true, this applies especially to entrepreneurs. To answer your question, and if I understand it correctly, the biggest mistake people make coming in the entrepreneur’s role it’s bringing with them some of the baggage of having work for a boss for so long.

      At times this can take self-confidence, and action taking skills away from us. This is due to the fact that many jobs don’t allow for creativity and spontaneity. As a matter of fact some discourage it, which really doesn’t help us as an individual, no matter what we want to do with our lives.

      I hope that answers your question, and thank you so much for your visit.
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  • Nitesh Sharma says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    Congratulations for how beautifully you have compared between life a and a flying machine.The best thing about this post when you said that “No autopilot can take off the plane”,fully applicable on life.Very nice article.Thanks.

  • Hiten says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    The way you used the analogy of being on autopilot when flying a plane, and what happens to us in life is very powerful and makes so much sense.

    You’re so right. Ever since we are kids we are taught to operate on autopilot. However, overtime we react through fear, worry and hesitation. We need to as you say, take control of our reactions to ourselves and the world. We can do this through understanding and experiencing the structure of our autopilot reactions and then consciously create new reactions until we respond with them through default.

    Thank you.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Hiten,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this analogy, and shared this post with your readers.

      Yes, as we grow up we learned how to listen to our fears and give in to them. As you’re saying we need to “create” our own reaction to things, conciously, and not let our subconscious take over, which we know it’s almost impossible unless we’ve given it some thoughts and learn how to fix this problem, so to speak.
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  • Jens P. Berget says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    What a great analogy. I am actually scared of flying, but I still do it from time to time. I was in Italy in September, and I was thinking all crazy thoughts all the time. I don’t think people notice, but my family knows about it. I can relate to living my life on autopilot and even though I know that I shouldn’t, from time to time, I keep doing the same mistakes over and over again. For instance, I keep saying yes to meeting that I shouldn’t attend. It takes most of my time, and I just can’t get all my work done. It’s like I’m saying yes on autopilot and when I get home in the evening I’m upset with myself. And then the same thing happens the next day 🙂

    It’s hard to break the “bad” habits.

    – Jens

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Jens,

      how nice to see you here.

      I totally understand what you mean by that, but the only way you can break an entrenched bad habit that runs the show pretty much on autopilot is by making a conscious decision to stop, and getting help at the same time like with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for example, or other techniques.

      Things that are located in our subconscious can only change if we put the intended effort won’t ever change otherwise.

      Thank you for coming here and have a great Holiday Season!
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