Are You Fully Present?
Do not squander time, for that is
the stuff life is made of.
- Benjamin Franklin
Being Fully Present Now ... Is The Present
Do you want to be more present and awake in your life? Do you believe the best present you can give someone is helping them be present in their own life?
Now is the only time we have.
And we must make the most of it -- for all too soon it will be gone, our todays slipping into yesterdays that pile up into a past. And sometimes that past can start to haunt us with all the things, places, people and events that we were too distracted to really see and experience.
You know what it is like ... skating through life, at best being on autopilot ... at worst being fully asleep at the wheel of life until something jolts us awake. Something like the death of a friend, the end of a relationship, a diagnosis that can not be ignored.
All those bumps along the road in life keep us awake and alert, like the reflective bumpers on highway lanes that tell you when you are changing lanes. They remind us to be mindful of where we are now and where we are going.
Being Present Now ....
To stay alert in your life and fully live it, you need to be fully present .. for both the joy and the sorrow ... the pain and the pleasure. So how do you do that?
- Be mindful of what brings you joy. It is hard to fall asleep when you are having a great time living life. So keep an eye out for what truly puts a smile on your face ... whether it is watching the sunset everyday, peering into the frig to dream up some great dish for dinner, or sharing a few moments of greeting your dog or cat when you arrive home.
- Stay awake through the trials and tests of life. Often we want to tune out or go numb when life gets rocky -- but that just means we are missing out on everything going on.
- Turn away from the distractions. There are lots of things in modern life that want to capture our attention and hold it captive -- from the Internet and TV programs to having the same conversations year after year (or replaying arguments in our head -- what we should have done or said). All of that is keeping you from focusing on what is most important in your life and solving the problems that surround you.
- Spend time doing what you love. It is hard to not be present when you are doing what you truly have a passion for ... whether that is making music like the Indie band The Present, inventing the next greatest idea, writing a love letter or listening to the Moodie Blues.
- Focus on making your hopes, dreams and ambitions real. If you have a great goal, you stay present because time becomes precious. This moment, and the next and the one after that ... this afternoon and tonight is the only time you be working on making your dreams real. The film makers working on the surfing documentary The Present are just one example of this.
- Concentrate on changing your life or the life of someone else. If you want to reconnect with the moment, now, step into it by working on changing something. For ideas about helping others, see ChangingThePresent.org.
- Create a definite chief aim in life. Napoleon Hill recommended this as the single most important task in life -- to get a clear vision of what you want so you can become present to your life. When you do this through a vision statement or personal mission statement -- you start to refocus your life. And it gives you a way to value all the things and events in your life and see which ones lead you toward your goal and which are distractions that need to be let go of.
Tools & Gifts To Stay Fully Present
If you need some help, or want to help someone else be fully present now in their life, I recommend these tools and gifts ...
The Next Step ...
If you want to keep being fully present, the next step is to take some time and write your own personal mission or life purpose statement. It is amazing how much this simple step can change your life.
It works like any meditation tool by giving you something compelling to concentrate on, as well as evaluate every person, event and place in your life. If they are part of reaching your dream of becoming ... a master chef. an airline pilot, a forensic expert or whatever you dream of being ... they keep you awake. If they do not, they distract you and fill your life up with stuff that is taking the place of the essential things and activities you need to make your dreams become real.
You know what I mean -- very few of us dream of becoming expert couch potatoes -- but that is what many of us are doing, putting thousands of hours into watching shows that we forget the next day or until we click and see them on again.
If you want to try something different, use these pages ...
your mission statement
your life purpose