I’m having a lovely lunch with my friend Pablo, when suddenly he feels the need to make an announcement.
‘Do you know what the problem is with coaches?’ He demands.
‘No. I mean yes. No?’ I splutter.
He had me one the ropes, and we’d only just finished our starters.
‘The problem with coaches is; it’s all, in 5 years this, by next year that. Why don’t coaches teach you how to live now?’
Phew – I thought he was going to give the usual criticism that all coaches are failed business owners, retired teachers or unhappy hippies.
Pablo has a point.
Why spend so much time thinking about the future when we can work on the now?
Ekhart Tolle famously wrote about The Power Of Now. It’s a great read (but don’t listen to the audio while driving or operating heavy machinery).
The basic message is you can think (worry) about the future, remember (dwell) on the past but you can only truly experience the now.
Three things to consider – now.
What do you do to be in ‘the now’?
Leave your answer below and I’ll send a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s latest book ‘A New Earth’ to blow your mind to our favourite.
PS If you’d like me as your coach take a peep here
It takes 2 seconds for your life to change. You can’t predict it. So put one foot in front of the other, take one minute after the other and live in the moment and do your best to enjoy each one.
I have read ” The Power of Now” a few years ago, a great read and I do live by it (well sometimes!). Absolutely true about finding the happiness and (lack of worries) in the NOW. I would LOVE to receive the new book… ;o)
Take time to understand that my thoughts are not the reality and make a conscious effort to get away from technology
What do you do to be in ‘the now’?
As simple as this is, I am practising being completely mindful when I’m doing something. Whether it’s doing the dishes, hanging out washing to patting my dog. I’m trying to be completely present with what I am doing in that moment. I take some deep breaths and sit in silence for awhile to reflect on how that act made me feel.
1. Relaxing at home after just getting back from work.
2. Wife just got back as well.
3. Not think about tomorrow (yet)…
I have read the power of now a few times. It is so profound and yet just scratches the surface. I practice gratitude for what I have right now to bring me back to the present. I practice BEing in the moment be giving my full attention to what I am doing. I Observe thoughts as the drift in and out. If I engage I bring myself back to the present and let them go. Bing present is a skill to practice. I also bring awareness to what is going on inside me and around me.
I’ve had to learn to ‘stop’ my brain as it’s very very busy. I allow myself to know that what I’m doing this second is the best it can be and that the more I concentrate on this moment the easier the following moments hours, day, weeks etc will be. It’s a technique, just block the rest. And it truly works and has enabled me to avoid the insanity of ‘too many thoughts’!
1. Watching my baby daughter sleeping
2. She’s healthy and well, and following her routine.
3. Close my eyes and breathe.
It is hard to remember to look after today and let tomorrow look after itself, as we have so much to plan for, but I find if I write down my thoughts and plans for the future I worry less about them, as I have it ‘down’. To be in the ‘now’ is a conscious effort but is also imperative as tomorrow is not guaranteed – I try to do the just do its and make as many things short term as possible as if its achievable – today is the day to do it – I try to stop putting things off. I’m not sure I do it well, hence my subscription to both you & Tim!
Step away from technology and embrace humanity.
I think the simple answer is meditation. It is all about the here and now and engaging in life in the current moment. effective meditation takes a lot of practise, but dissipates the noise of the past and future.
To be in the now – just stopping and focusing on what is right in front of you and only that (be it a person, a spectacular view, a mundane cityscape or just a thought).
I’m working on building my new business.
The thought of spending tomorrow celebrating my wife’s birthday at a flash hotel
Any expectations around how things have to be
1. I am tapping letters on my keyboard
2. Breathing clearly & deeply through my nose whilst looking at the sunlight on the parkland outside my window.
3. responding to this………….
One way for me to be in the “now” is playing my Euphonium I should stay focused – When my mind wanders, I make mistakes! I also remind myself to appreciate my surroundings, even at work with a grotty view, the sky is great
1 Live, behave & act now like the person you want to be.
2 Make today the best it can be.
3 One foot in front of the other – to be happy and successful you have to focus on the now, this very moment.
Listen to the people you’re with, hear what they’re saying, respond to them. Stop looking, literally & metaphorically, over their shoulder at what might be coming.
The key, I believe, is to be in an appropriate state of “presence”. I am on a day off, watching cricket on the TV, remembering a fabulous performance by The Eagles last night and anticipating a family weekend. This is a pleasurable state. On the other hand, if performing a surgical procedure, sitting an exam or playing with a son or daughter, singular focus is the required state. Mindfulness should be the process of appropriately calibrating our focus.
Turn off the tv, computer, phone and have actual conversations
How do you know when you’re in the now? Is it the same as being ‘in the zone’? You’ve got me pondering here Michael and I’ve just bought ‘The Power of Now’ to hopefully find the answer.
Clearing my mind and practicing my Tai Chi gives me lots of energy
If in doubt, I try not to judge (sometimes easier said than done), ask questions and listen. Amazing what you learn from actually listening.
It’s an interesting human behavior to think about now and the future as we put off things we don’t like to do to future, blocking our ‘now’ later actually. Also if we are pushed to change the now (due to an accident, inability, tragedy, or any other direct impact) we can change the now, within seconds, because we have to. If you are not happy or you feel you are stuck, consider it as a direct impact to enjoy life, and see if you can change now?
Been on mindfulness courses , read loads, don’t think I’ve completely mastered the thinking (worry)about the next day /week/year but I’m trying .
I do stop and try to be in the moment more than I used to
Work in progress ….
Now – dealing with new sales engagements, pondering over past experiences and how to perform better.
Being enthusiastic and positive can do attitude focusing on success is making me happy.
Boxing away negative thoughts as soon as they arrive in my mind keeps me on track.
Find a quiet spot and relax, no phone, tablet or laptop and enjoy your surroundings. A spot of mindfulness helps me to refocus on the now.
I’ve read ‘The Power of Now’ It’s an amazing book which really resonates, but why do you think it’s sooo difficult to focus always in the here and now. Does anyone have any tricks for keeping the ‘ego’ quiet?!
Focus on enjoying what is happening, smiling and instead of taking photos to remind you of what is happening now – just enjoy the moment and be in it ALWAYS
I’ve just been clearing out 40 years of paper- qualifications, teaching materials etc. I found the leaflet of the training session with you (which really changed my life in so many ways.) and now feel exhausted. I’m clearing out due to retirement…so past, present and dreams of future all in one day.
For me it’s these three:
1. I’ve slowed everything right down and live more in the moment.
2. Spending phone and tablet free quality time with family and friends and relish every second with them.
3. I block out all thoughts that have no direct impact on me at this particular moment in time and only concentrate on what’s important right now.
Taking my dog for a walk along the local canal, and just enjoying the wonderful scenery and watching for the wildlife. It’s amazing what you see when you are in the now, things other people probably just walk past without even knowing they are there.
I am with a coach who asks me to look ahead to where I want to be in 20 years, 10 years, 5 years and next year and then take actions today to make these things happen. It is known as ‘Back-casting’ – developing a long-term vision of where we want to be in the future, then working backwards to identify the actions we need to take today to get there. So a combination of having a vision and being mindful of how things we do today have an impact on our future rather than mindlessly plodding forward and hoping for the best.
1. I’m thinking about what I could now/today that will impact on those future goals and doing those brilliantly.
2. Where I am right now in life, family, work, health…
3. Worries or concerns, they are my limiting beliefs that are holding me back!
Great read, this has got me thinking!
I take time out every morning to set myself up for a great day, this includes: exercise, meditation and visualisation. I learnt this on a Quality Mind programme. It helped me to understand that you can only change what is happening now so no point in spending time thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
I saw this post yesterday just as I was setting off for a cycle ride to gather elder flowers to add to some gooseberry jam. The past and future are intertwined. Many things can be left out but remember to let in the beautiful things around you.
This is a great attitude!
A friend recommended Eckhart Tolle’s book 3 times before I actually got around to buying it and reading it (I forgot she recommended it and actually rang her to say “You must read this book” – whoops!) Bought it as audio and was so blown away by it, I bought the paperback as well for the many, many powerful (yet simple) quotes.
Your newsletter reminded me of his book and I need to read it again to bring myself back to “the now”. I don’t plan 5 years ahead, but I’m constantly living and planning for the next appointment or event – in the meantime, I’m missing everything that’s happening now, which is actually a good time. We are healthy, my son is happy and healthy, we have a wonderful place to live with fabulous meals to look forward to each day. Life is good now.
Anyone that hasn’t read or listened to The Power of Now, do so – might take a few chapters to get into the rhythm of the writing (and certainly the wonderful calming voice) but incredibly worth it.
1. Counting the minutes until I can get out to enjoy the lovely weather we’re having
2. A favourite picture of my daughters – always makes me smile
3. Allow myself some downtime now & again
To be “in the now” you have to commit your attention to the moment — and listen actively to the person(s) around you. Let them take the stage and be the audience, and then respond with full understanding to them. This shows you listened actively with the right intent.
Take a few minutes everyday to appreciate family, friends, loved ones you have.
I practice ‘noticing what I notice’ to bring me back to the moment. I am very in my head and my default is to overthink and ruminate or worry about future events.
By telling myself to ‘notice what I notice’ I bring myself back to the present moment.
Take time out every morning to write my Gratitude journal thanking the Universe for what I have received and what I will be receiving. This then allows me to be focused on the now.
Reminds me of a quote from that classic … Kung Fu Panda 🙂
You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”
I start my day by taking my dog Holly for a bush walk and enjoy my podcast/audio book/music – whatever I fancy while I enjoy my time before its impacted with whatever needs to be done that day.
Sitting in a hot hot hot classroom with my lovely year 7s as they work absorbedly on their zoo project.
Thinking about my many blessings.
The heat – I’m thinking frappe, Barbado beach with a breeze, beautiful fanning with palm leaves …
1. The sun is streaming through the window and I can hear the washing machine as I type this
2. The thought of taking a break from work in 10 mins
3. Thoughts of work lists
A profound thought from a friend of mine is ‘never worry about anything you can’t control’. I wish I could practice this, as my mind often races with worries and negative thoughts. Reading these comments has been a therapeutic 10 mins and demonstrates that we are all considering and reflecting collectively for these brief moments of now!
Im enjoying a weekend of relaxation, walks, reading and sunshine!
Peace and time for myself with those l care about most.
An element of reflection about the future, acknowledge however not giving it time to start to predict or influence it.
1. At work, in the quiet with a hot coffee.
2. The baby wriggling around in my tummy.
3. Potential imminent changes at work.
Yes agree with your friend Pablo.
Think this is why Richard Branson’s letter to a stranger about being happy is so insightful. Copied it below.
Enjoy each of the good things of the day, Here’s his letter……
You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.
It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my life. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.
I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.
So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.
Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’
They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.
Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.
If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.
For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchildren’s tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer.
There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.
Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.
But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.
Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being I promise you, happiness will follow.
Happy regards, Richard Branson
I use the 5 4 3 2 1 trick!
5 things I can see
4 things I can hear
3 things I can feel
2 things I can smell
1 thing I can taste
works a treat to bring you back to the present! 🙂
Congratulations Lauren, you’re our winner. A copy of A New Earth is on it’s way to you.