How often do you live in the present? How often do you regret the past? How often do you stress about the future? Here’s a story about a typical Tuesday morning to set the stage and discover the power of now.
It’s 7:00 am on Tuesday morning and the alarm is ringing. You are pulled out of your dream, which you can only remember bits and pieces of, and automatically lean over and hit the snooze button.
10 more minutes, that’s all you need to prepare for the day. Instead of falling back asleep you start to think about all the work calls scheduled for the day. The alarm goes off again and with a deep breath and a tight chest you get up to scroll through social media before jumping into the shower to start the day.
While in the shower you start to think how you’re going to convince the new client to choose your product, they are in negotiation with your largest competitor and you know it’ll be a tough deal to close. Then your mind starts thinking about last month, the lowest sales you’ve ever made. Guilt creeps into your shower and before you know it the deep breathing and tight chest return.
Now, it’s time to scarf down a little breakfast, kiss your partner goodbye and hit the road only to sit in traffic for another 40 minutes. As you’re sitting in traffic you start to think about your vacation to the Bahamas coming up in one month. Sitting on the beach with a mojito in hand, not one sales call, no unhappy bosses, no alarm or guilt or stress.
You start to feel excited thinking about all pictures of the hotel you’ve seen, imagining yourself lounging on the balcony without a worry in the world and just like that a smile sneaks onto your face at 8:28am on a Tuesday morning while sitting in traffic.
Fast forward one month and you’re sitting on the plane about to arrive to the Bahamas. Finally, the vacation you’ve been needing!
As you and your partner make your way to the hotel you scroll through social media and start feeling self-conscious looking at pictures of friends thinking you should have tried harder to lose weight. This leads your mind to think about how stressful work is, which is the real reason why you overeat and skip the gym. And just like that, before even arriving to the hotel your sales calls, unhappy boss, guilt and stress join you on vacation.
We spend so much time living in the past and the future. According to Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
The story above consisted of future worry, future excitement, past regret and past guilt. What the story lacked was truly living in the present moment, enjoying breakfast with their partner, breathing in the fresh beach air and appreciating the vacation.
We miss so much when we live in the past and future, never seeing the true beauty all around us. We can never live in the past or future, all we ever have is now. Living in the present encourages a healthy lifestyle and pushes away negative emotions.
We can start to be more present by turning away from the “busy being busy” mindset and social media. Instead, we need to turn towards ourselves and our community. By meditating, practicing yoga, attending fitness classes, taking dance lessons, learning to draw or simply meeting new people we can break the patterns from everyday life. We can enlighten ourselves to a new, healthy way of living while discovering new hobbies or passions.
Activity providers and organizers play a crucial role in our communities that bring people together and help them to grow and develop into the person they’ve always wanted to become. Organizing activities, classes or events helps people to build strong, stable and healthy habits while meeting like minded people.
In a world, full of digital addiction, unhealthy habits and disconnectedness it’s time as a society that we turn toward helping to build businesses who make us better as a whole, allowing us to live in and be grateful for the present moment.