Yes, that is a confusing tongue twister, for sure. However, an immensely powerful one, if you can decipher it. I have had quite an interesting and transformational seven days since my last blog. Last Sunday, the same message, from two different sources, came to me and agitated me to a seven-day focus. I was watching a live streamed event in the afternoon, and that same evening I was reading a self-help book. Both suggested strongly that focusing on what was happening in the present moment was the right thing to do.
I have the annoying habit of spending too much time in my past and then allowing it to determine my chance of succeeding in the future. In other words, when I think about the things I have previously done that were painful, rejected or didn’t work, I erroneously and unconsciously allow those experiences to affect my belief about my ability to achieve greater things in the future. I can tell you, being stuck between the past and the future is a scary, stressful and yucky place to be. I was reminded last Sunday, not once, but twice, to get out of there fast, and focus squarely on the only time and place I have any control over. The present.
Two amazing things happen when you give yourself the present of being present in the present. The first is that you will gain far more from your present moment experiences. The second is that the present is the only place you can take positive action, which will determine your future, irrespective of your past. Let’s explore…
I have been a reader, a listener and an attender of personal development material and events for a long time. I know when I have had positive changes in my life through this, and when I haven’t. The positive change came after I engaged in the material, in the present moment, and really absorbed it, believed it and acted on it. The reason nothing happened, at times, even while I was reading, listening and attending, was because I was not in the present moment. Have you ever read the same page of a book multiple times, and still not absorbed it? Have you ever listened to an audio or podcast, got to the end and had no idea what was said? Have you ever attended an event and been more focused on the temperature of the room and your hunger? I certainly have, because I was somewhere else, and not in the present moment.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, but been somewhere else? Maybe in the past, or in the future? When this happens, not only do you miss what that person is saying to you, which may be incredibly valuable, but they feel unimportant because people always know when you are not fully attentive to them. As you feel when someone is not listening to you, right? So, step one in being fully present in the present is to engage 100% in everything you do, in the moment. This has been a large part of my focus this week. So, I have switched off notifications, and removed other distractions when listening, reading or engaging with another person. Wow, I have learned some amazing stuff as a result.
My next challenge is to stop my past from determining my future. I have had a fear about a certain part of my business because of previous poor choices and undesirable results from years ago, and I have let them impact my belief about myself and my chance of success in the future. Incredibly, as soon as I start taking positive action, in the present, those fears seem to disappear, and the only time they reappear is when I stop living and acting in the present moment. Interesting! So, whilst it is important to have a vision for the future, it’s even more important to know that future will only ever eventuate by our focus on actions right now in this present moment.
Ironically, this week, I have been inspired by my mentor to set a BHAG. That is a big hairy and audacious goal that, to be honest, scares the hair off me. And there was not a lot of hair to start with! The great news is, that this goal, whilst a seemingly unassailable mountain right now, is a simple process and progression of small daily focused action steps required and taken in the only time I have available to me. That is, this time in this day and this moment.
My podcast this week, with Perry Venakis, called With simplicity, there is so much complexity, has inspired me to simplify my life, my eating and really focus to make sure my well being is optimal. This most effectively allows me to make the most of each moment and each opportunity that presents itself. It’s not easy. Our mind will bombard us with information about our past and predictions about our future based on that past. However, as you move into this upcoming week, I want to encourage you to give yourself a present. That present is a wonderful journey to nowhere except being totally present in the present moment.