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12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This tidbit of Ferris Bueller wisdom is probably even more relevant in today’s fast-paced society than it was at the time of the movie’s release. Between our phones, our careers and the Internet, there’s always something pulling our attention away from the here and now. It’s easy to let minutes, hours and even days slip by without a second thought.

Here are 12 things you can do to help you live more in the moment:

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1. Holster your phone

Our phones are probably the greatest source of distraction in our lives. Even at important meetings or events, if we hear its telltale buzz, we’ll try to discreetly check it under the table, incapable of disconnection for even a short length of time. So, holster your phone! Force yourself to unplug. When you want to engage with the moment, turn it off or set it to silent so that you can focus on what’s going on around you without interruption.

2. Pay attention to your senses

Focus on the way the breeze feels against your skin. Really experience the taste of your coffee in the morning. See, smell and hear what’s happening around you. It’s easy to dismiss our perceptions as background noise when we’re distracted, but such a multitude of rich experiences await if we simply engage with our senses- even when standing in an elevator or sitting in class. The smell of aged textbooks or the feeling of air conditioning ruffling your hair can truly be an incomparable experience.

3. Get enough sleep

When we’re tired, it’s hard to focus on anything. Being short on sleep leads to wandering thoughts and a general inability to concentrate. This makes it very difficult to be present in the moment. Getting a full night’s sleep is important to revitalize the mind and enable it to engage with the world.

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4. Meditate

Many forms of meditation exist, but all cultivate a greater presence in the moment. The brain is trainable, and regular meditation can actually alter thought patterns, leading to a more present mindset both during its practice and throughout everyday life.

5. Connect with nature

When hiking through a buzzing forest or gazing across a mountain range, its hard to care about anything but the present moment. We evolved in the natural world, and reconnecting with it reminds us of our roots and the true nature of life.

6. Spend less time on social-networking sites

Social networking can be addicting. However, the life you lead online is a fabrication, a virtual reality- nothing compared to the real thing. Many get sucked in to this online world, though, placing far too much value on their profiles and how their lives appear. Spending less time worrying about your online persona will leave more time for actual living.

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7. Exercise

Physical activity puts you in touch with your body and its capabilities, which can help you experience things more fully. When your heart’s racing and the adrenaline’s flowing in those last few minutes of a workout, it’s hard not to be in the moment, experiencing each sensation, even if some are unpleasant.

8. Think about death

Reminding yourself of your mortality will help you appreciate life and each moment you still have. It may sound macabre, but contemplating the shortness of existence will only make each moment matter more to you, and you’ll live each more fully.

9. Choose your friends carefully

Pessimistic friends can put a very negative spin on life. It’s important to surround yourself with people who raise you up rather than bring you down. Who we choose to have in our lives can have a great influence on our lifestyles, and choosing the right kind of people will lead to a more positive outlook and a more present mindset.

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10. Reign in your thoughts

When we engage in relatively mindless activities such as driving or eating, our thoughts tend to wander from the moment. When this happens, reign them in. Lasso them and force them back into the now. Pay attention to your actions, to the way things look around you. Focus on the external world rather than your internal world.

11. Don’t multitask

Instead of catching up on email and watching Breaking Bad while you eat lunch, just eat lunch. You can’t be fully present in the moment when your attention is split between ten different things. Focusing on one activity at a time will help you enjoy each more fully.

12. Do what you love

If you find your passion and pursue it, you won’t find your mind wandering away from the moment or drifting to other things because you’ll want to experience what you’re doing. When you’re doing what you love, you won’t have to actively engage with the moment- you will live for it.

Featured photo credit: Egor Gribanov via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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