In this holiday season, all of us have extra activities to do with seemingly no time to get stuff done. I don't know about you, but this is when “staying in the present” is so important.
Not dwelling on how things could have gone or how they might be in the future has periodically been a constant battle for me. I've been fortunate to be happy more times than not, but I have had times where the "whata, coulda, shoulda" yips create a barrier that takes extra and unneeded energy to solve. You may have experienced the same type of emotions.
What if I would have handled a conversation with my teenage daughter more sensitively?
Could I have provided an even better answer to an interview question that would have propelled me? As I get older, should I ask for more of a helping hand from friends/colleagues as I get creakier with my physical disability- Cerebral Palsy?
Please think for a moment about your "whata, coulda, shouldas" and how have you reacted to them... Have you sometimes spent more time thinking about them, then focusing on your reactions to present-day circumstances? If you are like me, you probably have.
A few strategies I now use to help prevent me from going down these well-worn paths are to reaffirm the positives in my life today, know what I truly want to do today, and stop worrying about things out of my control.
Sounds easier said than done...sometimes. How are you…
Reaffirming the positives in your life today... For me, I thank God everyday that I am happily married, have good friends not only just acquaintances, and my works (such as this blog) help folks like you sort through their life and career challenges. I post one positive about my life everyday in my office, so I can stay grounded and in the present moment. Sounds simple and it is.
Looking at this throughout the day helps me get through bumps all of us can go through.
Knowing what you truly want... I would love to be sitting on a Hawaiian beach, sipping a cool one and being ultimately confident of who I am today. Well, the Hawaiian beach and the cool one may have to wait at least until next week, but I do truly know who I am as a person right now. This profile includes all the positives and blemishes in my life. But I always try to be honest with myself. Some days I am more brutally honest than others, but that's what “staying in the present” is all about. Warts and everything.
How about you? Are you dwelling on your successes/failures in the past and not focusing on what you need to do in the present? Take five minutes and reflect on what you truly want from yourself today. For me, it is always a truly healthy exercise.
Stop worrying about things out of your control...
To stay in the present, you must understand what is truly in your control. For me, the one thing absolutely in my control is my attitude. How I am thinking about myself, my work, my life, my family and my friends? I’m not perfect, and you don’t have to be either.
But, in the final analysis, there is not much in our absolute control except your attitude. If you let your attitude slip, life can really spiral downwards. How is your attitude today? You may be stressing out finding that one “perfect” gift for a loved one, or your confidence has taken a hit recent for one reason or another.
I'd suggest thinking for a couple minutes about how you can take charge of your attitude even with the real challenges many of us have day-to-day. And thank the all-mighty so much for the terrific things in your life. For me, it has truly made a difference – even though there are days.:)
Staying in the present gives you the ability to still navigate the current of your life - whether holiday time or not. This, in the final analysis, will help you stay happy about yourself and continue to ride the wave of your inner courage to achieve whatever is on your list...and stay in the present.
Happy holidays and thanks, again, and look forward to talking with you next week.