When we truly understand the power of the present moment, then it becomes the most important thing in our life.
I learned that to truly connect with others I had to be fully present with them.
I learned that happiness and contentment are not circumstance dependent; they are a function of how present we are in our lives.
I learned that to perform better in anything I do then the quality of my attention is the most important thing of all.
How much time do we spend in our heads?
I was listening to an interview with the renowned scientist Bruce Lipton when he said that research has shown that most of us spend only 5% (or less) of our time being present.
So, for a staggering 95%+ of the time people are thinking about the past or the future.
They are habitually chewing over lots of unnecessary thinking rather than being present with who they are with or what they are doing.
Of course, it is sometimes useful to remember the past or imagine the future, but Bruce was not talking about that.
He was talking about how disengaged most people are from being in life.
Holding a space for someone is when we are willing to drop all our thinking and be there for them completely.
This is a game-changer yet how many people practice it?
Most people ‘steal’ a conversation. They just can’t help jumping in with what they think.
Someone tells us they would love to retire to Spain and the next thing we do is get out our Spanish holiday snaps because we just know how interested they will be!
I have just returned from Phoenix where I met the legendary Steve Hardison.
Steve is coach to billionaires, pro-athletes, CEO’s. People pay him upwards of $200,000 per year to work with him.
They don’t pay him this because of what he knows. They pay him because of his extraordinary quality of presence.
I listened to him speak for a couple of hours and one of the things he said was:
“You get to choose – heaven or hell – every thought you have.”
Every single one of us experiences negative thinking and low moods, but as someone I know astutely said:
“The ultimate in narcissism is believing every thought because I thought it.”
When we identify with our thoughts, we create anxiety and our life becomes a living hell of separation from what we want.
But thoughts only have any power if we give it to them.
Fear and anxiety are thoughts of what might happen, not something that is happening in the present moment.
Eckhart Tolle in his book, ‘The power of now’ said:
“As long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life.”
I have found that being present makes sense to almost everyone, but they then say:
“Ok, I get it but how do I do it? What’s the technique?”
But just as you cannot slow your bike by peddling faster you cannot experience a quiet mind by doing more thinking.
Your mind already knows how to return to presence and clarity without your conscious intervention – it is an allowing rather than a doing.
P.S. I have posted this short clip (about the present moment) before (1m45s) but it is genuinely funny. Click here.