I first heard Ben Fike, a great friend of mine, talk about being present. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about when he first mentioned, ‘being present’, in one of our conversations. So I questioned him about it. He went on to say that being present in a conversation meant that our mind is given to the moment and not preoccupied with something else. That’s just one example…there are many more.
I was made aware by our little conversation that I’m not present in a lot of conversations, meetings, etc. I’m there….but my mind is elsewhere. My life is no different in a lot of ways than anyone else’s. We’re all very busy, probably too busy I’m convinced. And it’s not that we’re always preoccupied with trivial things; a lot of those things are very important. I’m learning that my being present means that I’m ‘given’ to the moment whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or it’s a meeting with other people. Being present in a conversation says to the other person, “I respect you!”. I think our culture and the busy-ness of our lives lead us all into varied states of not being present. Cell phones are a great tool but they’re also one of the main contributors to ‘not’ being present. Playing games, FaceBooking, reading emails while our minds should be ‘in the now’ has risen to epidemic proportions. I’m all for multi-tasking but when our other task distracts us from the moment….we should seize! It’s a bad habit and we should do something about it!
Well, there’s the problem….where’s the solution? For me it has to start with a commitment to ‘give’ myself to the moment. By that I mean that I should deal with and forget the distractions as best I can and get my mind focused on the conversation/situation at hand. I’m finding that at the first it’s a real challenge, mainly because of my bad habit of ‘not’ doing it so often before. So, it may take a day or two of working at it!!
*Get your mind on the moment, and Be Present! (You, and everybody else, will be glad you did!)