Personal Development is not about becoming better, but beccoming more you
“ Right here, Right now”
Fat Boy Slim
This moment could be incredible, it could be full of such amazingly bright energy and awesomeness that it makes you gasp in overwhelming appreciation.
Right now incredible things are happening, but chances are, that if you are like me, you’re not even faintly aware of them.
We are living in a world where most of the people around us are unconscious most of the time, myself included.
So what are we doing instead?
Thinking, and mostly about stuff that is not important, or at least not important right now, like when we rehearse arguments we have not yet had, or mull over the crime drama we watched recently or the shocking news story we just heard on the News. On and on goes the endless tirade of thoughts, flowing though our brains and distracting our attention from the brilliantness of whats going on around us.
Usually our minds do anything to avoid the present moment, they like to focus on an imagined future, full of hope or promise, or perceived drama, or maybe instead we are dwelling over the past, the careless words spoken by careless minds that play on our emotional heartstrings. We over estimate the importance of what has been said, or how it was said, or why it was said, we play out the roles we imagine ourselves in, the victim, the hero, the worthless and so on.
As this full drama plays out we never really consider if it is even real, or just how we are seeing it?
Like when I see thin women who see themselves as fat, or like when I was a devilishly handsome teenager who thought I was ugly (I was kind of the weird kids at School! So girls naturally avoided me like the AA Breakdown salesman outside supermarkets)
We spend so much time in our heads, that we very rarely take time to realize just how amazing life is right in front of our eyes, and in this way we take amazing things for granted, and then before we know it years have gone by, and we have missed some great things. I have met so many clients who regret not spending more time just enjoying their kids. But there is still time, to enjoy what you have now.
A few years ago I read a times article about how modern technology had made us better at time management, they cited an example of top city businessman who played lego aeroplanes with his son whilst answering emails on his blackbury. Every now and then he would crash the plane in order to give him enough time to answer an email whilst his son rebuilt the plane.
This is not good time management, this is fucking retarded.
Reading Tim Ferris taught me the principle that technology is a great slave but a terrible master, people become addicted to technology and it causes them more stress, like when you check emails whilst queuing in the supermarket. There is no way you can possibly answer so now you have to wait until you get a chance to answer them and in the meantime that shit plays on your mind.
The more times you check your phone ( FB/ Emails/ etc) the more stressed you become, as this study proves.
The effect of not paying attention
Imagine making it to the top of your career ladder, you are uber successful with millions in the bank, you are driving in your new sports car thinking over how awesome you are to have made it this far, and mulling over what your next strategy is, and you don’t see the little kid who steps out in front of your car.
I don’t think I have to go on as to how this affects people lives. Paying attention is not just something we should do to make our minds more peaceful, and help us feel more healthy, paying attention is something we owe to the people we share this planet with.
Of course its not easy, in fact trying to pay attention is probably one of the hardest skills to master, I often find myself day dreaming whilst training clients, I am thinking about the next client, or mentally going through my accounts, then I look down and see a whimpering man under a heavy bar and realize I was meant to be spotting him! ( just kidding about that example!)
No matter what course I go on to learn cool stuff about helping clients eat better, move better and feel better etc, NOTHING will ever help my clients ( and family, friends everyone) more than my ability to just be present.
Of course this is all fine in theory right, but exactly how do we learn to actually be present more?
There are probably tons of times where you where in the moment, when you just actually enjoyed what you were doing without any care about the outcome, just doing, without trying. Like when a top athlete plays their sport, or when people have sex!
Imagine that your on a shooting range, you have a Percentage of concentration, in order to hit the target you need to be at 100%, this means you need to see clearly, you need to feel your body holding your gun, feel the gun itself and be aware of which way it is pointing, you need to be able to hear the wind and judge if you should aim off. If you listen to all of your senses then you will be bang on target, anything less and you will miss, and life is pretty much hit or miss most of the time.
“There are no ordinary moments”
Dan Millman, the peaceful warrior.
What would life be like if we did everything as best as we could possibly manage? Not aiming to be perfect, but just enjoying the act of getting on with stuff, what if we mopped the floor like with a big smile on our face, If we made everything we did a kind of meditation, what would our lives look like in ten years time with this kind of daily attention to what we do? If we just got on with the stuff we have been avoiding?
Better yet what if we paid the ultimate respect to our loved ones and just sat and listened to them, without any judgement, or defence, or need to be right?
Our future is determined only by what we do right now not by optimistic “positive thinking “
“Yesterday is History, tomorrow is a mystery, what are you going to do with the 86,400 seconds you have today?”
7 ways to be more present
Ultimately learning to pay attention is a lifelong quest that few of us will ever truly get to grips with. But the pursuit of this quest is a worthwhile one which can only enhance your living pleasure and benefit your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine, they call it enlightenment because the world looks brighter, sounds become fresh and your body feels new.
At the funeral of a zen master one of the mourners asked the student what was the most important thing to the Teacher. He replied “whatever he was doing at that time”
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