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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

3 Unique Ways To Enjoy The Present Moment

3 Unique Ways To Enjoy The Present Moment

When you’re sick you only have one concern: feel better now.

When you feel unhappy with your current situation, you dream of a better future or think of about how you screwed it up last time you were happy.

When you’re happy it’s easier to enjoy the moment and even joke about your past mess ups and have a fun time planning the future. But none of it deters your happiness in the present moment.

So that leaves you with two options for how to be present: get really sick or be happy.

I like to be happy, so I choose the latter.

Over the course of my battles with depression and severe anxiety (the type of anxiety where you throw up every time you are talking on the phone) I have come across a few techniques and stories which help me to enjoy the present moment.

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1. Understand that the glass is already broken.

I read a story once about a man who went to India in search for his truth, whatever that is. He wanted answers. He stumbled upon a teacher and over the course of his time there, he grew amazed at how content this man was. The teacher cared about and respected everything and everybody.

Curious as to how this teacher moulded into this standard of thought and, as some would say, enlightenment, he asked, “How are you so content every moment?”

The teacher looked down and pointed to his glass of water.

“This cup is already broken,” he said. “If I knock it over and it breaks, I simply say, ‘of course.’”

“One day this cup holding my water will not be a cup anymore. It is already broken and, because it is broken, I cherish each moment I have with the cup.”

Everything ends. Everything.

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Understanding that makes you grateful for the moment you currently experience. People die, this article will one day vanish from existence, and this planet we live on will be gone too. It all ends. I don’t say this to be a downer; I say this to spread the message of being grateful and cherishing every moment you have while you are alive.

2. A quick blast of meditation does wonders.

I’ve tried everything. Hour long meditations, chanting meditations, location-specific meditations, waking up at an ungodly hour meditations, all of it. Nothing stuck for me.

I felt like a failure. I always worried I wasn’t doing it right. I would get upset if I spent most of the meditation thinking about stuff and not being “mindless.” It sucked. I sucked.

Then, five months ago, I found a ten minute meditation that has worked like magic.

I have a nice piece of classical music I enjoy playing through my headphones as I sit crossed legged with my back against a wall. I listen and simply focus on my in-breath.

I don’t know why this is the one that has worked the best for me, but it has.

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After the ten minutes are up I feel good; I feel focused. It tends to bring me back to the present in a nice, calming fashion. I am very relaxed after this little meditation.

Maybe it can work for you too.

3. Perspective is life’s greatest snake oil salesman.

Is that true? I don’t know. I’m honestly just impressed I came up with that heading.

Perspective guides us a in couple of ways. It preaches that things can always be worse. That’s the popular way to approach perspective.

But things can always be better too. At least, we think they can be. We don’t really know.

We think we know. More money, different job, nicer weather, newer phone, better friends—all of it sounds better in your current state of mind, but would it all really be better?

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I know very rich people who are not happy. They can have everything they want, but they’ve become so obsessive over their image, they can’t fully enjoy anything.

Over the course of the last decade, I’ve had well over a dozen different jobs, all of which I liked for three months until I got bored and started looking for a “happier” path.

I live on Vancouver Island, the prettiest area in Canada, but, the other night, I sincerely missed the gigantic thunderstorms I used to see living in the Prairies.

It can always be worse and it can always be better, depending on how we choose to absorb what perspective is to us.

Tell perspective to stop selling you on worse or better for awhile and try to enjoy what you have. Enjoying your reality is far more powerful than enjoying a dream you wish to hopefully come true.

Featured photo credit: Casey Callahan via unsplash.com

More by this author

Daniel CJ Grant

Daniel is the author of "Notes from a Failure". He writes about failure and success.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

7 Daily Habits to Balance My Day (And My Life)

7 Daily Habits to Balance My Day (And My Life)

We live in a success-obsessed world. Many of us chase after success in our careers or business at the expense of family, relationships, health, and spirituality. We fail to understand that success cannot be compartmentalized. When one area of your life suffers, all the other areas will follow suit sooner or later. If you want to be successful in life, and not just in your career, you need to strive for balance.

The good news is that you can get closer to balance in your life with 7 very simple daily habits:

1. Start your day with prayer or meditation

Achieving balance in your life starts with your personal choice and decision to change the way you live your life. It requires your attitude and discipline to make it happen. That’s why achieving balance in your life requires that you have a very strong core. If you don’t like who you are, where you are, or what you do, chances are you won’t like the other areas of your life either.

Make it a habit to start your day by praying or meditating. Praying or meditating in the morning helps you feel that you are more than you think you are, that you can do more than you think you can, and that there is more to life than what you’re currently doing. Connect with yourself, know yourself, affirm yourself more, and understand that you are meant for greater things.

2. Be fully present when you’re with your family

Family life is the area most often associated with work-life balance. Having a great family life is like the pinnacle of achieving work-life balance. After all, it is your family who sticks with you through thick and thin. When all is said and done, some friendships fade, but your family will remain.

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Start making a difference in the world by first making a difference in your family. Spend more quality time with them. Eat breakfast with them. Be more physically and emotionally present in their lives. Do one thing with your family today in which you’re fully engaged. Yes, you can make a huge dent in other people’s lives, but start small by making a dent and being more involved in the lives of the people already around you.

3. Reach out to one person you already know

In business, having a strong network helps you spread the word about your company. It also helps you get more things done. In your personal life, a strong network helps you grow in the different areas of your life. Which is another way to help achieve balance. By expanding your network and building strong connections, you get to learn from other people, widen your perspective, and even stretch your vision for your life.

Everyday, contact at least one person you already know. It’s always easier to start expanding your network with someone you already know. Tell that person what you’re up to and ask if there’s anything you can help him or her with. Then, ask that person if he or she can help you with something, even something as simple as spreading the word about what you’re doing. People are willing to help more than you think. Asking for help also builds trust. To keep the ball rolling, don’t forget to ask if he or she can introduce you to someone who can help you as well.

4. Spend fifteen honing your expertise

For Bill Gates, it was computing. For Michael Jordan, it was basketball. For Albert Einstein, it was theoretical physics.What did these three successful gentlemen share? They knew what they were great at.

If you want to succeed in life, excelling at one thing is a must. It’s better to be great at one thing and suck at everything else than to be average at everything.

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Spend at least fifteen minutes each day improving what you’re already good at. If you’re into blogging, spend fifteen minutes reading articles on websites like Problogger. If you’re good at marketing, spend fifteen minutes studying the latest marketing tools and trends and visiting blogs like Seth Godin’s. If you’re great at sports, by all means, practice! Whatever you do, make sure you strive to become better each day.

5. Do something creative

Even though the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory has been debunked,[1] the world still enthrones activities attributed to the left-brain, such as logic and measurement,  while “right-brain” activities like creative pursuits get short-changed. Most jobs today require analytical thinking more than creative thinking. Many people also deem creative pursuits impractical and give up on them.

No matter what your job is, you should keep going after creative pursuits. If you’re employed or if you have a business, create a plan to get more customers, to get more things done, to introduce more products, and to grow the business. Notice how your blood will get pumping and your adrenaline rushing. Only “right-brain” activities or creative pursuits have that effect in our lives. More importantly, it is only through creative pursuits that you stretch your vision and redefine what’s possible for your business and for life.

If you’re more of an artist, engage in creative activities that excite you like drawing, painting, playing music, writing music, animating, writing a story, or even starting a blog! It helps achieve balance in and add color to your life after a long, monotonous, “left-brain” dominant day.

Don’t just control, using your analytical “left-brain.”Create using your “right-brain” as well.

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6. Take a 30-minute walk

The first five things you need to do each day focus on your emotional, relational, and personal success. But, in order to achieve and enjoy all those successes, you also need to succeed in the area of your physical health. You cannot enjoy all the success you’ve worked so hard for if you’re lying sick in bed.

Make it a habit to get yourself moving. Take a 30-minute walk,[2] go to the gym, take Zumba classes, or even stretch for ten minutes after every hour of sitting down. Just get yourself moving! There are so many different benefits from physical activities[3] and so many different ways to do it. Find what works for you and do it consistently. Small, consistent action beats one big effort followed by a big crash every time.

7. Do one thing to reach out, give back, or pay forward

We all know the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Whatever successes you are enjoying right now, you didn’t achieve them on your own. You were given unique opportunities by your parents, your family’s history and background, different circumstances, the people you met, and “angels” you’ve encountered along the way. Success is not only a personal achievement. Success is also being given many opportunities to succeed.

Unfortunately, not everyone was given the same opportunities you were given.

If you are reading this article, chances are you are living a more privileged life than many others out there who don’t even have internet access. Be that small flicker of hope to someone today. Be the “angel” who will give that person the same opportunity that you had. No matter how you help, whether in educational, business, or even financial support, keep in mind that what you’re giving someone is an opportunity to succeed.

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Helping someone also doesn’t have to be big right away. You can start small by simply reaching out and giving that person an opportunity to have an emotional support in you.

Finally, Malcolm Gladwell put it very nicely in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success:

“Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung… We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by ‘we’ I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”

Put It on Paper and Take Action

Now that you’re finished reading, don’t let your own ideas of achieving balance in your life slip away. Write them down, make a clear, actionable plan, act on it, and live a remarkable and more balanced life.

Featured photo credit: Cristian Newman via unsplash.com

Reference

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