“Even in the most difficult situations, when the focus is on what is right in the present moment, it makes you happier, and gives you the needed energy and confidence to deal with what is wrong, today.” Spencer Johnson M.D., author of The Present**
In a chaotic world where stimuli come in many dimensions and at very fast speeds, how often do you consider what today brings? I know it is easy to see today as another day, as another boat of problems unsolved or unsolvable, but what does that look like through your eyes?
Mr. Johnson has it right with a very simple principal: Live today, pay attention today, take care in this moment and you will enjoy success through all moments. If you see someone that is always peppy, has a smile for everyone, and has passion for their work and their life – you have seen someone who is living in the present.
I have decided it is human nature to dislike conflict. However, we all know there are times when we must confront. We confront the past mistakes in the present and we avoid them in the future. When we set them aside and worry about their ramifications and fear their reappearance, we lose the moment, and we lose our own happiness. Learn from your past mistakes, and use that knowledge to improve the present. Then let it go.
I know what you are thinking – easy in theory, much more difficult in practice. As human beings with complex minds, we are prone to looking forward or looking backward. As we spend time in this future and past cycle, we don’t even notice we are turning away from our creativity. As we age, we become less and less creative (without active awareness around it) and become cynical as our inquisitiveness is stifled (around age 6 for the majority of us). How about doing something different? How about breaking your routine – disrupting a habit – perhaps decide that tomorrow you will wear your watch on your other wrist, or your ride home will be on streets that you wouldn’t usually take?
The disruption in your routine will stimulate your creativity, will spurn you to pay attention to your environment, to feel and be more alive in those moments than you have been in some time. I’ve tried it; actually several times now. It works. Ironic that your instinct is to be happy, until you start letting the worries mount, the obstacles surface, the impending tasks get the best of you. Take a deep breath. Stand up and stretch while exhaling all the worries and troubles on your mind. Feel yourself breathe, and appreciate the moment.
Let me know if it works for you.
*Spencer Johnson, M.D. quoted above, co-authored The One Minute Manager and authored Who Moved My Cheese? – An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change In Your Work and In Your Life and The Present. Check out his website at www.spencerjohnson.com