How much time to you spend focusing on your future? Have you meticulously planned the exact moment that you will be happy? If that is the way you have been doing it, you’ve bought into an illusion. You are selling your present for some impossible to predict future. You slave away in the present, pushing for that next free intern job so your resume will look good. Maybe you are working 16-hour days for that trip to some tropical island or maybe it is just as simple as saving for retirement. Now don’t get me wrong, all of these things are good; they are all worthwhile steps used by all of us to reach our goals. On the other hand though, when you use the excuse of chasing your dreams too often, you can mess up your plan by neglecting your mental and physical needs, not mention happiness.
Rather than having that fabulous life you dream of, you wind up suffering from depression, stress related problems and a pile of deadlines that you might not even care about. It takes a toll on not just your health, but it can ruin up your relationships with family and friends. When you refuse to make time for the people and things that matter, in the now, we grow farther and farther from the simple things that make life worth living. You stand the risk of focusing too much on the future and completely missing the present moment—which is all you ever have anyway!
A little less planning & a lot more doing.
How is your automaton life trying to complete each task trying to maintain your blueprint of the perfect life going? When you over focus on those to do lists and criticize yourself each time you fail to reach the impossible standard you have set for yourself, you move a step farther away from enjoying your life on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, you need a plan, (let me say it again, you need a plan) but it’s ok to veer a little of course once in a while and just follow your heart.
You never know where your heart might take you! Think about it for a minute; rather than planning each and every moment with in the context of your excruciatingly detailed plan, just see where the flow takes you. It can reach a point that your planning actually becomes procrastination. Sometimes you just need that impatient desire to achieve, to reach your goal. It can be like writing, rather than working out the end every time, the fates of the characters of your own creation can lead you to places you would never anticipated possible. So, from time to time, experiment and let your intuition be your guide.
Focus on today
Most of the successful people you will ever meet have learned to appreciate the importance of living in the present. They plan for the future, learning from their past, but live in the present. The finest way of preparing for tomorrow is doing your level best right now! Here are some thoughts that I hope will help motivate you to get the most out of your present.
1) Train yourself to do just one thing at a time
You can’t multi-task. Multi-tasking is multi-failing. Finish your work one task at a time no matter how big your ambition is. Take it all one day, one week, one month at a time and you will be shocked at how much you get done. Focus on the work, not the outcome.
2) Be grateful
You have probably read this from me before. You can start a short list when you rise in the morning. List the top three things you are grateful for and add to the list through the day, each time crossing something off and continuing on with your day. If you look for the good around you, by the end of the day you will have a fabulous list of things you were grateful for. The list is a little thing, but it changes your focus and like most people you grow to see what you are most often looking for.
3) Ask yourself questions to be in the present
Use little (or big ones) questions to remind yourself of where you are. “Is this what I should be doing right now?” “What is something that I can do that will make today better for me?” “What am I doing that really counts?” You will learn to be more self-aware and grow in skill, listening to your feelings about what you are doing. After all, as I have said, it’s all about your choices.
Schedule time for yourself and make the most of it
I know you are busy, but take some time out of your busy ‘world-changing’ schedule and indulge in a hobby, or take a walk, or see a movie. Anything you do will change your outlook and let you get some rest while you relax. If you do something as simple as taking 3 five minute breaks in your day to do something not work related (read an article, listen to a song, look at landscape pictures) you will give your brain the rest it needs to be extremely productive thought the day.
In other words, make a choice today to live in the now, and get started. Today is the only thing you really have… yesterday is past and tomorrow is just a promise of things that come of the work you do today.
SEE A LIFE COACH IN BATON ROUGE
Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.