Right Here Right Now - Part II
In Part I, Incremental Positive Change, we took a look at making manageable and sustainable shifts by focusing on small changes and and being truly present in the process. Making successful small changes then lays the foundation for bigger shifts. In Part II, I want to expand on the ability to be present and to focus.
In The Moment
How present and fully immersed are you in each activity (whether work or personal) and during each moment of your day? That brings me to something that applies regardless of the way we blend/integrate our lives, which is being in the moment. No matter what you’re doing, the task is to fully be in it. I often talk to my clients about ways we can find ourselves living in the future rather than the present.
For example, during an interview for which we have done excellent prep work, jumping ahead to start worrying about whether the potential employer will offer the right salary, takes us away from the here and now and detracts from the ability to be in sync and to truly shine during the interaction. I like to think about a basic logistical matter: We can’t control the future, but we can do a pretty good job of controlling ourselves in the present.
Another aspect of being right here right now is focus. There’s ongoing and conflicting research about multi-tasking, but from our own experiences many of us know that we actually end up bouncing back and forth between activities. Are you really listening to your colleague while you’re typing an email? Most likely, you’ve given your attention to the email and are picking up bits and pieces (hopefully the most important) of what she is saying to you. Is it possible to stop the email for thirty seconds and have a concentrated interaction (complete with eye contact) with your son as he heads out the door to meet his friends? Can you turn off the pop-ups for half an hour so you can truly focus on that business analysis you’re completing for your team? As you’re watching Empire or Game of Thrones or listening to music or watching a play, can you really sink into it, absorbing it all without being distracted or having your mind wander? If the answer is "yes" to most of those, then you have the ability to gently move your mind from a place of distraction to one of focus. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Next up in Part III of this series is Meditation & Mindfulness where I'll lay out some possibilities for starting a meditation/mindfulness practice.