“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”
This week, I have decided to put myself on a mission to live in and enjoy the present. I know, I know. What an easy thing to do, right?
But to be honest, this is actually a very tough objective for me. Not because I’m a workaholic. Oh no, I’m far from that. I mean, I like to get things done on time but I don’t think doing that earns me the title. I’m so focused on the future and things that need to get done that my anxiety kicks in and I forget to enjoy the moment.
A Day in the Life
I wake up at 3:30 in the morning. This is quite early but I like starting the day writing my blogs and then moving onto working on different types of tasks.
It starts with my usual routine tasks such as journaling and completing a 7-minute workout. Then I move on to long term tasks. This involves me thinking about the product direction for Alakazam, the progress of our current marketing campaigns and then onto user activity on MixPanel. Then I have a couple of meetings to align the teams and after that, I make customer calls. By the time I am done it’s usually 7 PM.
I am at a point in life where I have so many things I need to be doing at this very moment. When I stop to think about it, I can feel the anxiety rile up and there is a rush of cold thoughts to my head. Thoughts of tasks that need to get done. This feeling takes up quite a bit of headroom, meaning it makes it difficult to give my 100% to anything I’m doing.
I’ve decided that I need to change this.
I want to be productive and be in the present at the same time. These are not mutually exclusive things.
The present moment entitles you to think in a completely different angle. It’s such that you can avoid drifting off into the past and also not get overwhelmed by the future.
Here’s a funny thought:
The present requires you to pay less attention to the future and the past. BUT, I believe that giving controlled attention to the future and to the past enables you to live in the present moment.
As I am writing this — I heard a bunch of birds chirping and I stopped writing. I came back to the writing after I took enough time to soak up the present moment. I felt an innate sense of calmness.
Activities and Exercises
To really soak in the present moment, I do a few things.
One activity is making coffee. This sounds like a very mundane task. But what happens is that it takes 6 minutes for you to brew a cup of coffee and while that is happening if you can wait on it and enjoy the process, you’d feel the present moment.
Another present moment activity is Yoga. This one is a bit tough for me cause I don’t get to spend enough time for it. I usually do this once a month but would love to do this more often, maybe like once a week.
The third present moment activity I do is surprisingly different. I actually read my old journal entries. This helps me think about the past in a controlled manner.
To wrap things up
The question is, what’s my commitment to live in the present moment? How do I push myself to not get carried away with life’s problems?
I think for this I need to give myself a token and a reminder.
A reminder that tells me that at any given point, what’s most precious is the present moment.
From time to time I do feel my mind go back to work and the other loads of tasks that I have to deal with. However, I realized from this exercise that some tasks that I have in my head have the sole purpose of bothering me over time. This is because I haven’t put the effort to resolve them and get them out of the window.