“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In life, our navigation system is consciousness. It sees the whole picture. Think about it, in any situation you find yourself, you can go one of two ways — you can follow what the mind tells you (with fears, desires and phobias all rooted in the past) or consciousness (no fears, no desires, no phobias) which is engaged in the present moment.
It’s not a new age cliché. We are living in the present moment. When else would we be living? Surprisingly though, many of us live ‘everywhen’ except the present moment. Most spend their time lodged in the past or concerned about the future.
The average person is someone who thinks that the past and the future are more important than the present. Anxiety, risk-aversion, absent-mindedness, and nearly all other forms of self-created misery are possible only when you allow your thoughts and actions to be influenced by something outside of the precious, present moment. When you focus on your needs right now, intended actions unfold.
How and why this happens is debatable for some and understood by others. But it’s clear you know this when you experience it.
Being present is a time frame in which you choose to focus. Only when you become aware of the thoughts you are having, will you notice which time frame you are in at any given moment. It is here – where you will notice how often your thoughts and feelings are focused on the past or the future. Research shows that people spend less than one percent (< 1%!) of their time living in the present. So, are we really living?
The authentic you only exists in the present moment. It’s when your feelings are calm. Your reflexes are fast. You are decisive. You know what’s right for you. You perform your best! You know you’re not perfect. This lets you be real.
In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote the famous line,” To be or not to be – that is the question.” The act of being is a choice to stay connected to the moment. Living in the now empowers you to trust your intuition and use your life GPS to help you flow through present time. It is here – and now – that you make your best choices, choices that are always there.
There are benefits to your being in the moment. Here are six:
Better performance under pressure. (You’re focused.)
- More honest and open communication. (You have nothing to hide.)
- Improved listening and memory skills. (You’re “present-minded,” not “absent-minded.”)
- Confidence and conviction in leading others. (You can handle their criticisms.)
- Wiser, clearer decision. (You don’t react out of habit.)
- More laughter and a playful outlook. (You’re at peace, so life is more joyful.)
It doesn’t make sense to worry about the future, as we don’t ever live in the future. Most of the things we fear don’t happen, anyway. Enjoy the now! Grab every moment you have. It’s about learning from your past and present so that you can experience your full potential.
All we really have is this present moment. When it’s gone, we’ll never get it back. What’s important in your life? Is that where you’re channeling your time and energy? Are you being or are you parked somewhere in your mind?