Insight meditation is about turning reactive decisions into consciously considered decisions. For clarity, reactive decisions tend to be the ones that we regret after the fact. Often they don’t reflect our own view of ourselves and figure prominently in our list of character traits we hope to correct overtime. By contrast, decisions we make consciously tend to be those that we are proud of and are more likely to be the ones we like to include in our view of ourselves. I suspect that the world’s most inspirational leaders make more decisions consciously than unconsciously. If the ability doesn’t come naturally to us, it makes sense that we should take action to limit our reactive ill-considered decisions.
Procrastination is a character trait that belongs in the reactionary category. Interestingly, although procrastination can occur over a long period of time, it is actually the result of not being mindful. When the thought arises that we should do some work, the mind reacts quickly to suggest another activity. Every time that we mindlessly indulge that reaction, we strengthen the energy against the work we need to do. If on the other hand, we are mindful and begin to do the work, we notice that each moment of it is not as bad as we thought. That is because the procrastination has built the negative feeling associated with the work into something much larger than the feeling of actually doing it.
This is an example of the value that can be derived from the subtle difference between reacting without mindfulness and mindfully considering a condition. Insight meditation is the training that is necessary to create the positive energy needed to bring the mind to the present moment on a regular basis. With this training under our belts, we are much more likely to stay on top of work and reap the benefits of a clear mind not distracted by unfinished tasks.