Where are you right now? Are you focusing in on what is on the horizon in the next few days or weeks or are you focused on the past and what has happened. Being present means focusing in on this moment and this moment alone.
Our culture is focused on “winning” and excelling in life and business and with such a high focus on getting results (or success) we often miss present. As a result many people are missing out on life and over time they become disenchanted with their life.
Being present is becoming a topic of greater and greater interest and has been written about by Peter Senge and most notably Mihaly Csikszentamihalyi. With our days being compressed by “duty” we rarely have time to reflect on the present moment and what is happening is people are feeling like their is something missing. That missing something starts to grow and grow and there is this moment that causes people to wonder life is all about.
Most people at some point in their life have found a moment in which they were fully present and it was magic. Mihaly writes, “Yet we all have experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, maters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.”
It is those moments of exhilaration that people are seeking but are finding that daily living is sucking the life out of them and generating more stress than joy in their lives. The question that lingers in many people’s minds is “how do I start feeling more joy in my life?”
Part of the answer is taking time out of the everyday busyness to stop and really doing something that tests your limits. Busyness and routine work is draining but something that challenges ever fiber of your soul is what people describe as an optimal experience and this is what causes people to feel most alive.
What challenges the mind and body creates this sense of flow or being in the moment. The moment is a point in time where the conscious mind reflects on the challenge and has the experience of control, victory and freedom from the threat of chaos. That moment is experiential and joyous and fleeting. It is a moment that isn’t easily regained or easy to live over again through a similar experience. It requires a new challenge and a new experience and then that moment of reflection.
For example first marathon run by a runner is often the most memorable. Running the same marathon again even a year later has less of an impact than the first one did. A new challenge must be experienced in order to regain that feeling. Yet that experience can be recreated in the mind at any moment by learning how to be present right where you are. The mind has the ability to generate that feeling of presence. What will you do to be present in your life?
Obtaining flow or presence
1. Set goals
2. Become immersed in activity
3. Pay attention to what is happening.
4. Learn to enjoy the present.
Do something important today that will allow you to feel better about you.