Life is made up of moments. Moments when we are alive. Moments when we are present.
How can we spend more time being present in each moment? In today’s technological, fast paced world, that can be a real challenge!
Here are three things that work for me:
1) Mindfulness: Be mindful in the moment.
There seems to be such an emphasis on multitasking these days. People fill their lives to a point of overwhelm and burnout. The pace of our world today is getting out of control. It is INSANE! With ‘smart’ phones, you can do 8 different things at once. But should you? Try this.
- Time yourself and see how long it takes for you to count from A to G. Next, time how long it takes to count from 1 to 7. Got it? Pretty darn quick, right?
- Now, put those two together and alternate between letters and numbers. What was the time? It wasn’t as simple as adding those two times together was it? You can do it, but it probably took you twice as long, and your brain had to really work!
I saw Peter Breggman illustrate this during an interview and was blown away – a simple example and a powerful illustration. I’d say most of us elude ourself into thinking that we can do things faster if we do them all at once.
Just try – for a day or two – to be more mindful, put your phone down, and complete one task at a time. See if you smile more. I’ll bet that you will! When you can focus on just one thing at a time – generally speaking – your stress levels actually go down. Instead of trying to manage all those different tasks at once (and getting overly frustrated when one of them goes wrong) you will probably save time, have more positive interactions with people, potentially smile more. Maybe you will even enjoy each moment!
2) Balance – Find ways to bring more balance to your life.
When we over-do in one area, we under-do in another. This can apply to our careers, our workout routines, our nutrition, our families, etc.
How do you find balance? Well, I believe that we all have an inner guide that knows how to find balance, peace, and harmony for ourselves in each movement, and in each moment. In fact, that’s a statement that my yoga teacher says to us almost every class. We get away from that balance when don’t stop, slow down, or take the time to connect with this intuition that we all have within us.
Have a practice of “pause” in your life. Have something that triggers you to stop, close your eyes, and just breath.
Doing this for as little as 5 minutes each day can change your life. Seriously! When life is spinning out of control, you will see how you can pause and connect with your inner wisdom.
3) Let go of your should’s and have to’s.
Another famous quote from my yoga teacher is, “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself.” Did that make you smile? It always makes me smile.
Doing things out of fear, obligation, and guilt can leave you unsatisfied, unhappy, and ungrateful. Get out of this F.O.G. and do things because you want to and because they are important to you and make you feel good. Sure, there are times where we all have to buck up and do something we don’t want to do…but hopefully that isn’t what we are spending the majority of our time doing.
There comes a point in many people’s lives where they stop doing things because they should or feel they have to and they just do things because they want to. I see it with people as they get older. I recognize it in people who are really living. I see it in myself more and more – as I let go of the need for approval and pleasing others, and I just do it because it’s who I am.
Live your life having many great moments!
Here’s to living BIG, living FULLY with vision, intention, & purpose!
Erica Quam, President & Founder of The Coaching Experience