Being Present in the Moment

Published on December 2, 2002

A few years ago, I participated in a 9-week seminar that met on Wednesday nights. It was a huge commitment considering my travel schedule and many participants found it tough to give it their all.

Half way through the program, a young college student got up and suggested that we end the program that night. She claimed we were getting nowhere. People were not giving their all and to her, she was wasting her time. As she was saying this, several executives and I complained how we were so busy. She then looked at me and said, “ That may be so, but right now you are physically here. All I am asking is that you become mentally present for the time we are here”.

Those words hit me in the forehead like an arrow hitting a bulls eye. She was right. If I am physically there, stop complaining and be present for the people who are also giving up their time to participate. What immediately flashed through my mind was how many times I was in the company of others and was not mentally present. How did they feel? This is a situation all of us deal with on a daily basis as we are all trying to process our thoughts, actions and just figure out how we are going to do everything we have on our plate. Yet, as we entertain these thoughts, we are robbing the people we are with of our undivided attention, thereby not being present to their issues.

As we prepare to spend time with family and friends this holiday season, remember your physical presence is not enough. While we may not have the time we want to spend with certain people, we do have the power to make sure the time we have is nothing but quality time. For this, your mental presence is required.

Best wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday season!

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