Ya, I know. It’s a pretty dramatic title, but I totally believe it. The idea of being present in the midst of the chaotic life that we live in transcends well, everything. Why? Because, when you learn how to be present in any situation, whether with family, friends or at work, you’ll find more peace and calm in the midst of the chaos. Let’s face it. Chaos is all around us, and if we don’t have some way or steps to be more engaged and present now, we will never be able to move into tomorrow in a healthy and meaningful way.
I love Greg McKeown’s quote around this. Greg is the author of the book Essentialism.
Take a deep breath. Get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second. ~Greg McKeown
Yup. That’s good stuff right there. And, in all honesty, isn’t very corporate America. Let alone suburban America. The world around us is all about results and bottom lines with very little room for “taking in the moment”. How about family life? As kids get older and the marriage goes into it’s 15th year, life seems to be on auto pilot. Going from one school or extra curricular event to another. With barely any margin to actually have a “family life!”
So, what could that look like? What could being present look like? Let me give you some ideas. These aren’t rocket science, and you’ve probably heard them before. Sometimes it’s just good to have a reminder from time to time.
1. PUT YOUR TECHNOLOGY AWAY – I was going to say put your phone away, but we’re connected by everything these days. So, when you’re in a one on one conversation that is leaning towards the personal or your with your family/friends, put it all away. Maybe even turn it all off if you can. With regards to the more business side of things, this quote from Naveen Jain is simply perfect.
How you make people feel after they meet you is more important than what you say. Their experience with you becomes your business card. ~Naveen Jain
2. LISTEN – this one is huge no matter who you’re with. Clients, spouses, kids or friends all want to be heard. We fail at this one all the time. How many times have you been in a conversation and you were thinking about 2 or 10 different things or, you were already coming up with a solution to the persons problem? Ya. Me too. The concept I’m talking about here is called “active listening”. Which is simply being “present” in the conversation. Fight the urge to think about other things. Fight the urge to interrupt the conversation with your solutions. Like Naveen said, “How you make people feel after they meet you is more important than what you say.”
3. BE THANKFUL – Being present gives you the ability to see beyond the chaos and the distractions and see what is beautiful, majestic, inspiring and then, hopefully, you can be thankful for what is right in front of you. Maya Angelou says it beautifully,
Be present in all things AND thankful for all things. ~Maya Angelou
Question: What needs to change in your life so that you can be more present? Take a few moments today and write some of them down. Then, invite someone close to you into a conversation around what you want to change and ask for help.