On a recent flight I listened to Practicing The Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations and Exercises From The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Narrated by the author, this audio book expounds on Tolle’s work The Power of Now focusing on living in the moment and being present to what is happening in your life. Essentially it follows the concept that you cannot recreate the past or predict the future – the only impact you truly have are on your thoughts and actions right now.
I know few people who really have mastered this art, when they speak to you they look in your eye and you know they are focusing all of their attention on you. They consider what you say and respond with thoughtful insight or insightful questions. I aspire to do this, I think there are times when I really do achieve this goal. I feel the difference in the quality and tone of conversations I have when I am totally centered in that moment. Interestingly, those who do this best are among the truly busiest people I know.
Somehow the concept of multi-tasking, juggling, and busyness equating to importance has taken us over. This being in the moment does not mean that you do less – it means that you are focused on what you are doing. It means that instead of making mile long to do lists we make short, reasonable lists and get the items done. Rather than a day filled with “drive by” conversations and good intentions gone bad we can have a day where we know in a very satisfied way that we have made accomplishments.
This practice is not only valuable to adults, but to teens and children as well. In this world filled with multiple distractions this is a very valuable tool to have. We need to be patient with this practice, realizing that it will take time to become a habit, to become who we are rather than how we do things.
Set aside some time, set a timer if you have to, to be attentive to a task. Practice focusing, sitting down and completing a task from beginning to end. Once you start accomplishing more each day, the value of this practice will start to take hold. It is the root of having a work ethic, being dependable to yourself and others, and finding fulfillment in what you do.