When was the last time you took five minutes to sit in silence, and just observed your thoughts and breathing? Or took a break from your hectic always-on life, to sit back and watch the world around you? Or focussed so deeply on a task that no other thoughts or worries crossed your mind while you were engaged in it? Most of us spend the better part of our days thinking about the things we have to do next, the stuff that happened yesterday, the plans we have for tomorrow, and so on. In all of this, we often forget all about being in the moment. Busy with our thoughts about yesterday and worries about tomorrow, we let today go by.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle
Being in the moment is all about giving our full attention to the task currently at hand. It means enjoying what we are doing right now, instead of trying to multitask with ten things. Savouring each pleasurable moment in the day – no matter how small – without continuously thinking about what comes next. Having a conversation with someone, without letting our thoughts stray to other issues, people and things. Unfortunately, too many of us treat life as if it’s a race from one point to the next, and from there to another. We forget that it’s the journey that we are supposed to enjoy.
Mindfulness, which is really what being in the moment is, will not just improve our enjoyment of life, but also increase our productivity. When we focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking, we actually work more efficiently. It will mean some reorganising, a lot of reprioritisation, and learning how to say no. Eventually being in the moment will not just allow us to be happier but also healthier.
Am I good at being in the moment? Not always; I struggle with this during busy times at work. But I do wish to get better at it. I push myself to keep trying and improving in small degrees.
Thinking about the past never did anybody any good. Dreaming about the future is important, but let it not take over today. Today is irreplaceable. Savour it, acknowledge it, and make the most of it.
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favourite day,” said Pooh.”