How many of you have driven home and as you park in the garage you realise you can’t remember which route you took? Was your mind somewhere else? Was it ruminating in the Past, or was it frantically scrambling to give direction to the Future? It certainly can’t have been in the Present. Most of us struggle to be more mindful.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PRESENT?
These days people grab for the phone the moment they wake up and lay it on the bedside table the last thing at night. Whatever happened to sitting and waiting for an appointment? Nowadays we use that wait time an opportunity to check WhatsApp/Facebook/Email, etc., or if those are quiet, to deleted unnecessary SMS’s.
There has to be a consequence to all this rushing and urgent attention to digital madness. Of course, there is. It is a whole new category of stress-related disorders that the medical fraternity is frantically researching. But, where are WE, the people, in all this?
We have become lost in all this frantic activity. We are permanently digging around in the past or planning furiously for the future – to such an extent that we forget to look up, look around and realise how beautiful the PRESENT is. The present is only here for an instant, so if we don’t notice it, it can be lost forever.
ENTREPRENEURS AND THE PRESENT
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to get caught up in the future. You are worrying about the direction your business is taking, or weighing up different options and different scenario’s. When that happens we can miss what happens in the present.
For example, you may miss something subtle that a customer says which could change the face of your business, or it could be an action by a disgruntled employee who will bring your business down if he is not heard.
One very valuable exercise is to try and bring yourself to live in the present – take a pause after each activity before you move on to the next one. In that way, you cut the first activity off cleanly and do not take its worries into the next. It is a simple pause, a few seconds or minutes, where you come to rest and finish the activity you have been doing and assign it to the past. Now it will not contaminate the new activity and you will be freed up to experience the new activity in the present.
Appreciating the present, that is at the heart of mindfulness. But many of us, unfortunately, spend most of our time either in the Past or th
e Future and we miss that fleeting moment of the Present.
If you are struggling to be in the Present, reach out to a Hilary and start being more mindful in your life.