I recently attended a training for work and one of the mottos for the entire training was "Be Here Now". They were stressing the importance of all the attendees focusing on the topic and not checking emails and rushing out to answer every phone call that came in. This really stuck with me and got me thinking about how much I need to be reminded of this concept in all aspects of my life.
I think everyone is guilty of trying to multi-task and fitting in as much as possible. With smart phones that can do just about everything, you can have a conversation, surf the net, answer emails, and check Facebook, all at the same time! While you may feel very accomplished that you caught up on email and returned all your phone calls, were you really able to listen to what that other person was talking about? Did they really have your full attention and focus? Most likely not.
And the more I thought about it, Be Here Now applies to much more than just my bad habit of multi-tasking, it applies to how I should be living my life. I often find myself planning ahead, looking toward the future and counting down until what is next. "only 4 more days until the weekend..." "only 20 more minutes until this workout is over" "only 5 more weeks until my next day off".....
I am constantly doing this and I have realized how much of life I miss out on by living this way. Instead of being here now, I am planning for what is next or complaining about how bad things are now. Unfortunately, it isn't until you lose something that you realize how much you wish you would have been there then rather than looking to the future.
The planner in me will always look to the future and will always want to know what is coming up next, but I can change my outlook on life and be more present in life around me. Life isn't what you plan next week or next year, life is what is happening now. Life isn't guaranteed tomorrow or the day after, happiness will come and go, health gets better and gets worse, and mistakes are made and lessons are learned. If you are not present for your life, you may miss the best things that are right in front of you. You may lose out on the happiest of moments and you may miss your opportunity to be the change that you wish to see around you.
While my marathon training is going well, I am already looking ahead and worrying about my next long run and what race days brings. Instead, I should be keeping my head high about completing 18 miles and bask in the glory that I have come that far! I should embrace the fact that I can get out of bed tomorrow and run 18 miles or 1 mile. I am injury free and I am in the best shape of my life. Am I taking in all these accomplishments? No...I'm worried about completing 26.2 miles, I am on the scale and using the measuring tape, and I am thinking about how I will fit in all my workouts next week.
It is my wish that I could just breath in the moment, realize how far I have come and have confidence in myself that as long as I work hard and give it my best, I can be proud of my accomplishments and proud of this period of my life.
And I challenge you to be here now. Whether your now is good or bad, feel it and remember it. The moment will go away and life will continue with or without your presence.