Stop and Smell the Roses
Some wise people once said:
“There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.” Leo Tolstoy
“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” Albert Einstein
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha
We’ve all been there at some point or another. It feels like 50 million things are going on at once. Before you’re even done with one of them, your mind is already onto the next. Because of the craziness, you just want to fly through everything so you can take a breather. Finishing each task means you’ll be able to cross one more thing off that massive list. It sure does feel really good when you can cross something off, but does that mean that it felt good to get to that point? Not necessarily… In the business and stress, we don’t stop to enjoy the journey…the process of getting from point A to B. We’re so consumed with just “getting through” it all that we don’t sit back to enjoy the moment for even a second. In the college universe, April is notoriously a crazy busy month. It’s that last month before May, which is basically a wash because of final exams. When I tell you that I have a commitment for my Residence Life internship every weekend this month, I am NOT exaggerating. On top of that, I’m aggressively job searching and have on-campus interviews at institutions around the country. So, when you, like me, have all of this going on (and more), it’s really easy to lose sight of the here & now. Self-Disclosure: I have a really difficult time staying in the moment. I am constantly either reflecting back on what happened or thinking/worrying about what’s to come…It’s a problem, I know. The worst part of not staying in the moment is that it doesn’t make you happy… But, it’s really hard to be completely focused on the present. Matt Killingsworth offers some intriguing ideas in his Ted Talk Want to be happier? Stay in the present The stats are crazy…but believable: 47% of the time people are thinking about something other than what they are doing In fact, my mind is wandering right now as I write this blog. I’m thinking about how I’m going to get to the train station on Tuesday, the dishes I need to clean in the sink, and my presentation later this week…sigh… According to The Positivity Blog, staying in the moment has a lot of positive effects. Some of these include:
- Clarity: When you are in the moment you have a much better focus and things flow naturally out of you. This is very useful in conversations, at work, while writing or while on the tennis court.
- Calmness: You feel centred, relaxed and whatever you do you do more easily. Since you are not projecting into a possible future or reflecting on previous experiences there is very little fear holding you back.
- Positivity: Since there is little fear, there are few negative emotions when you are in the present. Instead you move around on positive part of the emotional scale.
Here are some quick tips for trying to keep yourself in the moment:
Close Your Eyes & Breathe…Maybe some Meditation, too!
Tell Yourself: THIS (whatever that may be) is what I’m Doing Right NOW (repeat as necessary)
Step Away from What You’re Doing (figuratively or literally…) to Refocus
Change Your Surroundings
Clear Your Mind by Doing Something that Requires Focus