A learned monk when asked if he could foretell the future, replied: “Yes, of course! I can, and so can you. There are three things that I know. The first is that tomorrow is going to be different from today. The second is that, tomorrow is not only going to be different from today; it is also going to be different from what we expect it to be. that is the very nature of life. And the third, and most important, thing is, you make your own tomorrow by what you do today.” So true!
Unfortunately, many of us spend our time thinking of the moments that have gone by and live with regrets forgetting that the present is the best gift we have. How you live your today will determine what your tomorrow can be.
When caught up in the vortex of professional jugglery and stress, this thought somehow takes a back seat. Imagine you are working on a project in the office and are part of a cross functional team. Your idea gets rejected and you feel unhappy. A part of you agrees that there were perhaps better ideas but a larger part of you feels upset. And most often than not, you let that thought and part stay with you. You carry it back with you home and it probably results in a sleepless night and a hangover the next morning. As a consequence of which, your next day is also likely to be ruined. By continuing to dwell on what is now the past, you let the present moments slip away.
You are not alone in this journey. We all go through this cycle at some phase of our lives. The trick is to not let regrets weigh you down but to focus on the moment and work towards a better future. But, how do we do that? While mindfulness and meditation have been touted as among the best strategies to create more meaningful experiences, not everyone can practice these. I have failed many attempts at meditation until I realized that meditation is not just about sitting in one place and silencing your mind. Anything that you do with passion, dedication and complete concentration is wholesome and effective in creating a virtuous circle of abundant joy and has the power to bring peace and contentment. Identify that one thing and follow it up with regular practice. It could be walking, reading or even spending quality time with family!
A 2010 study conducted by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University that used an iPhone Web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives found that people spend nearly 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. Little wonder this makes many unhappy.
To really live in the present, you need to focus and be aware. These are also two key skill sets that successful leaders possess. By just being focused and aware, you can create powerful connections, absorb better and improve your performance. You can thereby capture the value and essence of the moment. These simple things on the face of it sound very easy to do. But, human mind is a restless being and wanders every second. That is why you need to make a conscious effort to capture the thoughts that really matter in the moment and build on those. When you are able to do that, you will notice how effectively you can sidestep distractions, reduce mistakes and enhance your creative thinking.
Concentrating on simple activities and focusing on your strengths hold more power than you think and are really remarkable tools to get you energised and cherish your today.
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