The average person goes through their adult life in a daze. Research indicates that they are incapable of devoting any appreciable level of attention to anything. It suggests that they only experience what they expect to experience and that the routine tasks of everyday life are done completely mindlessly. If that weren't enough research also indicates that the average person gets what they expect out of life - and that their expectations are very low, given that they are predisposed to being negative.

Wow - what an awful, but accurate, picture of the average life. How can it be that the vast majority of us are confined to a life that, at best, is not too bad? How can it be that we box ourselves in to a life of generally predictable normality? Is there any way in which we can get off this train that's going nowhere?

Well, in fact, there is no train and we've not been cornered into an "average box" - all the problems you experience in life, all the swings and roundabouts, ups and downs - are all in your head. Nature hasn't consigned us to a pathetic average life - our minds have. And the great news is that you can take 100% control of what's going on in your head. In fact, it's the only thing that you can absolutely control in life - and few people ever bother, they're content with "not too bad".

The problem faced by the average adult (apart from the obvious problem of no one ever having told them that they can take full control of their minds!) is that the average mind is overwhelmed with noise. Like a massive tailback, you will never start speeding down that highway to your successful life if you cannot rid yourself of all the mental traffic that's blocking your way!! OK, I'm mixing my metaphors - but you get the picture?

We are aware of a lot of our mental noise - we are constantly distracted by random thought, ranging from the useless ("Did I unplug the curling tongs?" - and the thought is useless if it occurs to you half an hour after you've left home!) to the self-destructive ("Why am I so easily walked over by other people?"). Research suggests that we have up to 50,000 of these thoughts each waking day. That is noise that takes us away from the only time and place we have - the here and now - and, of course, what we're actually supposed to be doing in the here and now.

In addition, however, there's a vast depth of noise deep within our subconscious. Many of my clients describe this noise as "the little voice that whispers 'No You Can't!'" just when you're about to take a major personal leap. This is the background noise that, in fact, your subconscious mind is fascinated with most of the time. It's noise that dates from your childhood - from when your view of the world, how life works and your place in it was formed for you by the people and events that most impressed your young and willing mind. And because our socialisation requires a degree of conformity, those childhood voices tend to lessen our ability to access and use our potential rather than rise to the heights of which we are all, effortlessly, capable. Of course, your blissfully (whether that's the right word or not is clearly debatable) unaware that this deep mental distractive process is not just constantly playing out but is actually dragging you ever further away from the only moment in which you can surely shine - the here and now. In fact, research suggests that the average person is only 1% present in the here and now - their mind elsewhere playing tricks on them.

All this mental noise tunes you out from the radio station of life - the live show that's actually going on here and now before your very eyes. That noise stops you experiencing the here and now - with all its possibilities and opportunities. That noise has effectively turned you off - and your 1% presence means that you're doing precious little more than existing on a life support machine.

It's time to turn yourself on and tune yourself in to the reality of the present moment. It's time to rein in your wandering mind so that you can be more effective, more efficient, more productive, more successful and have more presence - here and now. It's time to drag your subconscious mind's attention away from a past that's only tripping up your present. It's time to turn yourself on and start truly living.

Deliberately, each day - preferably each morning before you do anything else - devote five to ten minutes to paying attention to the here and now. It's as simple as that to turn yourself on. For example, sit up straight, close your eyes and notice how amplified the sounds are around you - it could be the ticking of the clock or the chirping of a bird. Or spend a few minutes, eyes closed, focused on how your body moves with each breath that you inhale and exhale - get (re)used to listening to or feeling your body - you've a lot to learn from it.

In the end, by turning yourself on, you'll notice what's actually happening and be able to capitalize on it. You'll notice things that you've never noticed before. As a client excitedly telephoned me one morning to say "Willie, you'll never guess, I heard the birds sing this morning!" My reply - but the birds sing every morning, it's just that we're not tuned in!

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton an ex-accountant and ex-senior banker, has worked in "personal development" since 1996, enabling business leaders, sports people and ordinary people understand how state of mind creates success (or failure). They describe the results as 'unbelievable' and 'life-changing'. Willie and his family moved from Ireland to French Alps in 2002. More information at