Around three years ago, I was involved in a life changing experience. Over the period of one year, I met with a group of six other guys every few weeks to share with one another about our lives, our struggles, and our deepest secrets. The thing that impacted me the most from this experience was the practice of learning to give our full attention to one another, listening and responding to one another with full empathy, without being distracted by any to do lists or phone notifications. I learnt how to live in the moment.
As an ideas person, I love developing new ideas in my head. I often find my mind drifting into thoughts about the future. You know what? if you’re anything like me, you know that this is both a blessing and a curse. Frequently thinking about the future allows you to anticipate and plan, however, you will often miss out on the gift of the present.
I have a wonderful wife and gorgeous two year old son.
When I’m with them, I want to always give my best to them. But rather than giving them my full attention, I realise that I’m often distracted from the present moment. I find myself frequently thinking about what i need to do tomorrow, about my next blog post, about an investment idea, about… My mind is constantly flooded with thoughts and ideas, and I miss out on what really matters, the present.
Most of our negative emotions are a result of dwelling in the past or worrying about the future
When we replay a past hurt, or regret a past mistake, we allow those events to restrict the enjoyment of the present moment. And when we worry about possible future events that have not yet occurred, we allow those imaginary scenarios to cause us unnecessary anguish.
Make a conscious choice to embrace the gift of the present moment
Each minute, each moment, we are given a gift. Don’t miss out on the beauty of the present moment. Let those loved ones who you so often take for granted, know how much you appreciate them. Give thanks for what you currently have, and don’t dwell on what you wish you had. Breathe in the fresh air, take in the beauty of the world around you, and take a moment to enjoy your hot cup of coffee.
The present, that’s all we have. The past has become history, and the future cannot yet be grasped. Embrace this gift we call the present.