Notice how often your attention is in the past or the future.
- Are you still replaying certain events that didn’t go as planned?
- Is your mind cluttered with the hundred things that you will or may have to do in the future?
- Are you always trying to get somewhere other than where you are?
Most people are physically here, yet their mind is in the past or the future.
I know because I used to waste a majority of my precious energy entangled in the past and agonizing about the future. This didn’t serve me well. Becoming more present is something I’ve been actively working on for the last 12 years.
Most people struggle with being present. It’s common to spend time in our head criticizing the past and projecting into the future. This leaves many disconnected and perpetually exhausted.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s the truth: You cannot change the past and the future can only be imagined as better or worse than the present. When you imagine the future as better, you look forward with hopeful anticipation. If you imagine something worse, it creates worry, anxiety, and stress. Both are illusions.
As humans, our mind is dominated by problems and anticipated conflict. It unconsciously loves to dwell on a situation mentally. This is normal. It will also drive you in frustrating, never-ending circles.
A problem by itself is not the problem.
The problem is how we look at the problem.
A situation needs to be either dealt with or accepted. Why make it a problem?
As a leader, I encourage you to practice seeing a challenging situation for what it is, not better or worse than it is.
- Resist the temptation to judge what you observe as good or bad.
- Resist the temptation to relive past stories about what others did or failed to do.
- Resist the temptation to jump too far into the future by envisioning scenarios that haven’t happened yet.
This isn’t easy. But it’s possible.
Our problems can only be dealt with by one technique: Being Present.
Living in the present requires a strong awareness muscle. It requires intense presence, especially when certain situations trigger a strong emotional charge, such as when your self-image is threatened or when you fear something could potentially go wrong. In those instances, the tendency is to become “unconscious.” Emotion takes over and the human reaction is to justify, attack, or defend which causes further energy loss.
Most problems are entirely in the mind. Sure, there are external forces at work: a stressful job, personal demands, daily distractions, etc. But it’s how our mind handles those external forces that is the problem.
No matter how out-of-control your day is or how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present will change your life, and it’s incredibly simple. Here’s the cool part:
The moment you realize that you are not present, you can become present.
If this is something you want to work on then I would like to share with you the simple framework I have adopted that has changed my life and helped me be more present.
Tune into this week’s episode of the Getting Results podcast —E68: Becoming More Present–A Simple Framework for Daily Life. In this episode, I outline an easy to implement framework to help you honor and live in the present moment. Perhaps there are a few golden nuggets you can adopt.