This last month my focus has been on focus and being present in the moment. Daniel Goleman the author of Emotional Intelligence has written a book Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence. He writes about how we register the end product of our attention “without noticing the beam of awareness itself.” I know I miss the beam quite often. Think of a hobby you love and how everything else in the world fades as it easily commands your full attention. I am trying to bring that kind of focus into more areas of my life.
Another focus is to really be present with someone in a conversation. Have you ever talked to someone and have been totally focused on what you will say next when they are done speaking? Often we don’t pick up on an emotion or even hear all their words, and this is something I have been working on for a long. Our technology is increasing this issue. Have to ever been out to dinner where someone is looking at their phone the entire time you are together? Of course if there is a critical situation going on you may need to do this. I have heard of groups of friends making rules that the first person to look at their phone before the meal is over picks up the bill.
So what else gets in the way? How about the worry the often takes us out of the present moment. If worry prompts you to take action that can keep you safe or make your life better then it is valuable. We often worry about a situation without having the facts. We also worry because it is a habit. Also for me my planner tendencies get in the way. I would be planning events three years from now if my family and friends would get on board with that. It is part of why I loved being a Project Manager on big long term projects. I used to spend much of my winter planning for spring, then I remembered how much I love cross country skiing. It keeps me in the moment of the beauty of snow on the trees and the calm of being outside unplugged for a while.