Being In The Now

Why You Have To Be Present To Be Successful

You have probably encountered messages that tell you: “Do it now !” or “Just do it !” And you may have felt small. Because you postpone, you procrastinate, you fail to reach your true goals. As do most people. I can certainly relate. 

Sometimes it is wise to slow down in order to be present

So when we become dissatisfied with ourselves or even stressful not living up to our own expectations (or maybe other people’s expectations), someone may have tried to convince you that: “What you need is practicing mindfulness.”

As effective mindfulness really is, to really get into the life changing essence of it, I think, it is essential to try to grasp some of the core philosophical aspects of this whole paradigm – and how life changing it actually is. Very simply of course.

Man and dog
Be where you are

Being in the now – in the present, and really feeling it is one of the central exercises that you should probably practice to move into the realm of knowing your true values; your true self. So what does that mean?

What Is Now?

Now is a point in time. What is time? Well, when I set out to write this article, I was hardly able to start. I tried to start over and over again. At one point I said to myself: “It really isn’t that strange that you can’t get started. Of all topics in the world, time is probably the most complex concept, you could think of, man.”

Some say time is an illusion. A concept that has been invented by man, but doesn’t really exist. Still, science includes time as the duality “spacetime”. The fabric of the universe as defined by Albert Einstein in his Theory of Special Relativity. 

time plant and space

So time definitely exists somehow. Only, maybe not in the form of our daily-life-idea of it as the system of ordering past, present and future.

Because as we shall see, the past and the future may not really exist. Only “now.”

“The present moment is all you ever have” – Eckhart Tolle

In his book, “The Power of Now“, Eckhart Tolle defines the past and the future as non-existing. The past is gone – it has passed. So it doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, it is up for interpretation. It is actually really hard to grasp the past without really credible sources. And your own picture of the past is probably always to some extent skewed and modeled to fit your present purpose

The future hasn’t come into being yet. We don’t know what will happen. We can try to predict, but we have no facts. An old Danish saying goes: 

“It is hard to predict. Especially about the future.” 

Some people have a special gift of being able to predict just about every negative outcome of a situation. Logic will tell you, though, that only one of them becomes true. And most of the time, not one of the negative ones. Yet most of us have experienced having a myriad of worrying and even negative thoughts in our heads. Disturbing our peace of mind.

So all that exists is now. Now is all we actually know. Past and future are not real. Science has an interesting theory about this – which I won’t get in to right now. But it seems that in the universe of spacetime there is also really only now – no past or future. You can learn more about this in this video about the nature of time (about the now approximately 20 minutes in).

The Impact of Now – For You And Me

Being in the now requires some effort. We tend to live in the past or in the future. Worrying about what will happen – or what has happened. All the more reason to be right here … in the now … Nothing else exists.

Some mindfulness meditation methods use focussing on your breath. Moving on to “feeling in your mind’s eye” the different parts of your body. Also controlling your thoughts by “emptying” your mind. Not driving your thoughts away as much as letting them present themselves, recognizing them and then set them aside for another time. This will lead you to a state – a presence – of calm and being present in the now. For more on mindfulness meditations see for instance the work of Jon Kabat Zinn.

This is where you will find your true self. As opposed to your ego which relies on your past and future worries for identity. This is why it is so hard to let go of the ego. It is closely tied in with our sense of identity. However, when you reach the ability to look at your ego from the outside. Being in the present. And transcending into your true self. Then you will feel flow and in harmony with your purpose – your wants – your true self. 

Benefits of Being in The Now When It Comes to a Business Mindset

Owning a business, if it is to be a successful endeavor, is all about burning. Living it. Keeping up when the going gets tough. Being authentic. And all those things. In a world of abundance getting your message through requires that you are authentic. That whoever you want to affect, he or she can trust you and likes what she sees.

And that is why being in the now is important. Because if you are not present, you are not authentic. And you can not be more authentic than being in the now.

If you are authentic, and your customers get to know, like and trust you, there is really no limit to the potential business.

Ways to Change Habits and Be More In The Now

Whatever you are doing, and however much you feel what you are doing is aligned with who you are, it is always good to practice mindfulness. You change through life. As do your values. 

“Thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still, we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.” – Carl Jung

Jung speaks here of the change – the shift – from the young life of ambition, competition and living up to social expectations; to the latter part of your life when meaning, purpose and ambition of knowing your self and your goals becomes more important. In this context, this is only one of four basic transitions in a human life. Most of us undergo more; often without even consciously knowing.  For more on this topic watch this video.

So one key to being successful in life, being authentic is acknowledging that you are constantly changing. And that you at any time will need to practice being in the now to be able to know your self and what you want – your goal and purpose.

So schedule your practice by for example: 

  • Starting your day meditating and visualizing your purpose
  • Scheduling the day (maybe two days)
  • Taking action on your purpose (not caring if you might fail as long as you are on the right track)
  • Being mindful of how much you love what you do
  • Ending your day writing down what you are grateful for

This is only one of many ways to go about it. And if you need help to create a personal change or mindful schedule, I would be honored to help.

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