The advice used to be ‘take one day at a time’, but these days you are more likely to hear about ‘living in the now’ or the ‘ Power of Now’, after the bestselling Eckhart Tolle book of the same name or other books on the subject of staying present. In looking at why present moment living is a model to follow in our personal lives and in business, consider some obvious facts :
- Staying stuck in the past, reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ or wishing that things had turned out differently, will not change anything.
- Wishing for some future outcome will not get you there, without action in the present.
- The only time we can experience or do anything is in the present. This is our point of power, the only place from which we can create forward momentum to improve our situation or achieve our goals, business or personal.
So based on the above the following are three simple tips for staying present:
1. Accept Reality…
…without judgement or denial. Being present is not in the first instance about ‘doing’, it is about being grounded in the reality of ‘what is’ right now as the starting point for moving forward. If acceptance is difficult for you, accept your non acceptance!
2. Become AWARE of your thoughts and feelings AS THEY ARISE..
…and note how they are driving your behaviour. Know that you can change your outcomes if you change your thinking. Yes, how you think is a choice!
Successful business people tend to look for opportunities in every situation, however difficult. So try not to waste precious present moments contemplating what dire consequences might befall you, if only because negative thinking will increase the chances of attracting the very outcomes you fear!
3. Stay focused on what you can do NOW
Don’t waste your energy on the past or the future.
Even if your scope to act is limited you will feel a sense of empowerment by doing what you can do. You can, of course, make a positive decision not to act for now. Doing what you can do today and letting tomorrow take care of itself is present moment living.
One of the ‘gifts’ of a crisis (should you choose to accept it !) is that it pushes you to stay present moment focused. If you were to do otherwise you would become emotionally overwhelmed by contemplating the challenges ahead, to which there may be no obvious solutions.
We all live in the present to a certain extent or we wouldn’t be able to function, but the chances are that we could do better. We are never more than a thought away from being in ‘the Now’ , but it requires ongoing awareness and discipline to stay there, as we tend to drift into the past or the future. The reward for staying present is a greater sense of peace, empowerment and well being.