How To Stay In The Present
When I was about 13 or 14 years old I went to this weeklong summer camp. It wasn’t a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but for a young teenager with plans for summer break it was an eternity.
What I remember about the week was always asking the counselors what we were doing next. At the end of the camp they actually gave out fun little awards for each of the little cabins. My award was being the one who was always asking what was coming next.
Looking back today I realize that I was so worried on what was next that I missed a lot of the enjoyment of the things we were doing. And even today I catch myself doing that.
For some reason my brain is wired to focus on the future. It comes in handy sometimes in business. I can focus on the big picture and how I want the business to look next year, five years and even 20 years down the road.
But I have to stress myself to focus on what’s happening now. Because that’s important as well for the success of the business and it’s important for enjoyment in life.
Focusing On The Present For Business
Here’s how I focus on the present for the company.
I start with the end goal whether that’s for the year or for a few years. Then I come back and focus on what I need to do as far as creating a regular habit or routine to make that happen.
One of my goals for the business is to increase sales, obviously. I looked back at what has been successful and being a guest on podcasts has shown promise for getting new clients.
So I created two time slots on my calendar each month. One is to search for new podcasts and listen to those podcasts those weeks.
Then the other day is to reach out to those podcasts to see about being a guest.
This is also a plan I have for guest blogging.
And it works across many of the things I do for the company. I really have to focus on creating daily habits that I can do in the present instead of always focusing on the future.
Focusing On The Present In Life
Where I have this struggle the most in my personal life is golf. From what I have found and what many golfers will tell you is that staying in a present state of mind is the best way to play. You have to focus so hard on each shot. Or you have to focus on what you’re doing in practice to the point where you can kind of play mindless golf.
It’s a challenge for me because I’m always thinking ahead. I’m thinking of what’s going to happen after the round is over. I’m thinking about the final score.
It’s a challenge for me to get back to thinking about the here and now. I’ve heard it’s good to focus on the wind and the other things that tickle your senses. It’s something I have to try all the time.
Speaking of golf, I read a story in a recent golf magazine (I don’t think it’s online yet) where a golfer, Craig Barlow, talked about his struggles with his attitude on the course. He’s played on the PGA Tour, but for the moment he’s on the mini tours not making any cash.
He changed his focus a couple years after losing his love for the game. His new mantra is (paraphrased):
If you’re depressed you’re focused on the past. If you’re anxious you’re focused on the future. If you’re calm you’re in the present.
So one of my goals this year is to be calm, to be in the moment.
I think it’ll benefit various aspects of life.