By Joanne Aaronson
We look at NOW as the present in a traditional time/space dimensional view with events completed being in the past and those yet to come in the future. If our minds are always on what is to come, that is, we are focused on the future, then we are not fully present in the NOW. If we dwell on the issues or difficulties of the past, then we are not fully present in the NOW.
In order to be fully present and operating properly (fully and completely), particularly with our creative abilities in gear, we must focus our attention on what's happening NOW. How often are we at a movie, a meeting or someone is peaking to us and we are planning ahead? We are not totally listening to the current context but moving forward to our response in words or actions. We are planning how to deal with or respond to a person or situation, rather than be fully present in the NOW.
Why is this important?
- We miss the full impact of what's being conveyed.
- It puts us in a heightened state of action (rather than a relaxed state).
- As a result, we are doing an injustice to the person or situation. To understand, put yourself in the other person's shoes. How would you feel if you were talking to someone and they were thinking of their response rather than listening to you? (of course, you're sensitive enough that you can tell that this is happening by various body signs).
What does being present in the NOW do for us?
- When we stay present we are calmer and more relaxed since we're not rushing ahead.
- We allow the future to unfold gracefully. This doesn't negate the importance of planning. There's still a place to think out a plan, but done in a NOW state, one is more relaxed and tuned in to their intuitive forces to facilitate accuracy in forecasting.
- Higher productivity is another benefit also. We actually get more done in the NOW state. Slow down to power up as fewer mistakes are made, less rework or problems to fix.
Let's take a look at an example of how this process works:
For several years, I attended an event in Gettysburg called the Remembrance Weekend to commemorate the Gettysburg Address. The weekend includes various activities related to the Civil War including a parade on Saturday and a particular Ball that we attended on Saturday night.
Here's how it went for various years:
Year 1 – we divided our time between this event and another, drove up Saturday afternoon, missed the parade, rushed to get ready but generally had a good time.
Year 2- I decided to just do the one event and drove up on Friday night, attended the parade but wasn't particularly interested in it (it was my partner's interest area, not mine really) and met some nice people at the Ball. I had a better time all around.
Year 3 – I drove up on Friday, relaxed, went out to dinner, attended the parade and really got into the costumes, the action and stayed "present in the moment" to enjoy what was happening. I wasn't in a hurry to do anything else. I prepared for the evening program, spoke to some people we had met previously as well as some new people and enjoyed this program also. When it was all over, I realized that this had been the best year.
I had been fully present, remained in the NOW and fully enjoyed the program. Granted, it wasn't my first choice in activities, but that was ok, I remained Present anyway and found that I found some new meaning in the whole thing. I really had a good time.
What was the difference each year? It was the same event and I was with the same person. What was different was my perspective, how I reacted to the whole thing and the fact that I stayed present that made all the difference.
I found that the following week went better at work also since I was very relaxed after this weekend.
In summary, stay in the NOW to do the best job, with less stress and have more creative answers to problems. In other words, being in the NOW will make you a better project manager, quality manager or leader in general for the same reasons...
- © Life Transformations 2007
- Joanne Aaronson, PMP is an intuitive life coach with Life Transformations in Reston, VA.