Strategy - Tips on Staying in The Moment
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There is nothing like nature to remind me to be right where my feet are....
Standing in my friend's kitchen in the early morning, I captured this image and just allowed myself to take it in.
I find that I can easily get wrapped up in the day's events, planning, scheduling and my phone with all of its emails, social media, texting etc. etc. I am in a flash transported from the moment. And that is a shame.....what am I really missing that I cannot just allow myself to enjoy the moment?
With all of the distractions to keep me from the moment, I have to be conscious of staying focused and to be right there...that moment is really all I have. The past is behind me and I cannot foresee the future...as much as I try.
It is in nature that I find that I am best able to get back to the moment. I am humbled by the world around me and I am immediately reminded that all of this beauty occurs without any of my involvement. It simply is and for the moment, I will simply be there too.
Life is good and moments are fleeting. I want to enjoy each one and by doing that, I am present and by being present I am there....all of me -at that is when I am at my best. I am able to think clearly, be calm, make decisions and execute ideas much better when I do my best to stay "centered" and in the moment. I am a better entrepreneur, designer, partner, boss, and parent.
You can be more effective by learning to stay in the moment
What is "centered"? A lot of people use that term especially where I am from but the best way I describe it is being in my body...not in my head, not in the future, not somewhere else.
Staying centered in today's world takes conscious effort. Each day I do my best to get back to my center and sometimes when the world is getting really crazy, I take a walk on the beach, a hike or a kayak and I have found much is put right and I am always clearer.
It's confusing because from a very young age we are taught to be aware of time, goals, deadlines etc. Then we have to untrain ourselves from that in a way. You have a choice of how you want to live and actually experiencing the moments instead of postponing living until you reach goals and meet schedules is not optimum. You will not be successful in life or career....as you had envisioned.
Here are a few things I have shared with others about how I have managed to stay in the moment.
1) Meditation. I practice it daily and highly encourage meditation. Medical journals now support practicing meditation for clarity and good health. Quiet contemplation and centeredness help me to practice how to get there when the world is really stressful and insane. Like an athlete who trains, this is something that takes training and you must be patient with it. Make it part of your day. Practice it regularly - you will be glad you did
2) Exercise outdoors if you are able, get outside at least once a day. Even if it means taking a walk during your lunch hour and getting some air. It will provide a fresh perspective for the rest of the day
3) Stay fluid. For me, that means loosely following plans. I have plans but also allow the day to unfold. When I get too caught up in the schedules and expectations of the day, I am getting too far into the future. Sounds easy to "stay fluid" but I slip...often... catch myself getting uptight or inflexible and remind myself that plans can be changed and goals will better be realized if I do just what is in front of me. Of course, I know I have many projects, all things going at the same time but when I stay focused and centered it is amazing how it gets done better and faster.
4)Rubber band training - sounds primitive but it works when first getting used to keeping focused. Whether you are an overachiever or a procrastinator - both suffer from getting too far into the future in their head. Wear a rubber band on your wrist and gently snap it each time you catch yourself going too far away. It's another form of training and has been effective for people.
5) Unplug. Set a time when you are not on the phone, doing emails, posting, texting and looking at a screen. Your brain needs time to rest and reset. My hand is like a magnet to my phone and I have to consciously decide to put it down and not be looking at it.
I have had the opportunity to travel many places in the world. More and more I see people overly interested in their phones or rushing to get a selfie and not actually experiencing the moment. That moment is gone in a flash. What could have been learned or experienced? They won't know as I watch them hurrying to the next thing.
Stay fluid. Stay present and enjoy your life. Everything else will be better for it...I assure you.
Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID
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