Monday, January 14, 2008

Live In The Moment

In a chat with my brother yesterday, we were discussing the value of living in the moment.

It is so easy to get caught up worrying about tomorrow, the future, with concerns that face us in life: the mortgage, relationship success/failure, career challenges, health issues, our children's safety, and more. How many of these do you worry about? How about FINANCES? That's the biggie for most people.

The problem for many people is their desire for instant gratification when shopping. So, they buy things they don't really need. Then they get into credit card debt. That spirals to include other debts when things like the car transmission go out. Then unexpected events occur. Health problems crop up. The career goes sideways, and debt problems build.

Is this you?

I've been there. The key is to spot how we cope with stress, and find better ways to cope with it. This is what AA is all about. It isn't about helping you quit drinking alcohol. Of course you want to do that or you'd never go to a meeting. What AA really does is help you cope with YOU. Your thoughts, your reality, your stresses you carry around when you are SOBER. Let's face it, booze is probably the #1 drug of choice to "deaden" our senses so that we can deal with the voices in our head. I have a good friend who told me that's why he drinks. I told him he needs to quit drinking so he can listen to the voices and decide if they're full of bull or not. If the voices are wrong, find new friends! Ha!

Other people get into financial trouble because their method of coping with reality is to go shopping whenever they face stress. Then they buy things they don't need. My solution to that problem is to find a different method of coping, something more natural, like going for a bicycle ride or a walk in a nature environment. I've been doing that and it works quite well for me. One other way to cope with spending too much when out shopping is to ask the following four questions: (1) Do I need it? (2) Do I LOVE it? (3) Can I afford it right now? and (4) Do I really want to own it? (Are the caring costs higher than I want to spend?) When I ask myself these questions, I can almost always walk away from anything in front of me. These questions also take me to the resolution of the challenge: it's about being present with right now.

Well, the challenge as I see it is to BE HERE NOW. That's partly what AspireNow is all about. It is about living your aspirations in the now. If you don't realize what I mean, consider how you set your daily "to-do" list. Do you write it all out on a long paper? Is it on your computer? Do you have more than 3 - 5 items on the list each day? Do they carry over, week to week to week? If that is the case, you are not serious about your to-do list. Not only that, you're not focused on what you need to do now.

One of my mentors is the former Notre Dame coach, Lou Holtz. I remember an inspiring film I saw about Lou while I worked at DecisionOne. He was telling his players on his football team that what matters most is to WIN. And to WIN, you must do What's Important Now. What a brilliant saying! I've been using it ever since (thanks, Lou!) You see, Lou understood that you don't win football games in the Fall and Winter if you don't workout and condition your body for success in the Spring and Summer. When a player is working out during the Spring they are implementing WIN - what's important now - in their attitude towards success in their endeavor.

The last point I want to make about Being Here Now is to point out that worry is often just that: most of what people worry about never comes to pass. That's right, most of your worries are for NOTHING. Considering that, why worry at all? A question I like to ask myself is, "Will it matter a year from now?" whenever I am upset or worried about anything. About 98% of the time, the answer is no. I then can choose to focus on the 2% and deal with that. It's a lot easy dealing with two things than 98 things, don't you agree?

A simple life is an easier life. Don't over-complicate your life with unnecessary worry. Keep it simple. Keep it focused on What Is Important Now. The rest can take care of itself.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, there is a wonderful strength and truth in simplicity.

A similar blog caled Go with All Your heart can be found at

You might enjoy reading it also.

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