We are distracted, over-stimulated and addicted to input, our thoughts, to feedback. We are a world filled with people who are living in the past, in the future and in the virtual. I wonder how many of you are actually reading this email on your phone while driving or doing something else. I wonder how many of you are thinking about something that happened last night or this morning. I wonder how many of you are thinking about something that will happen later today.
For the next 5 minutes, I request the honor and the privilege of your presence. Please join me right here, right now, in this moment.
Ah, there you are…. Thank you.
PRESENCE – IN 3 FORMS
I’m extending an invitation to you to consider your physical presence, your mental presence and your level of engagement and impact. I’ll leave you with 3 questions that, if you answer them, could change your life, and the lives of those you love, lead and serve, forever.
Your physical presence matters. The places you are, the places you aren’t. The way you assert your physical presence – standing, moving closer to or further away from the people you’re interacting with. The places where you are physically present, but mentally elsewhere.
There’s a new term being used for being physically present, but focused on your phone – phubbing. I hate to admit how often I have my face in my phone. It was a good reminder to me to create some phone-free/tech-free zones in my life.
The car. The dinner table. The living room. During meetings.
Some days are better than others, but these are 4 places I commit to having more awareness. How often are you fully present, in the moment and in your body? Getting clear about when and where you choose to be physically present may hold clues to the outcomes you’re experiencing and the challenges or successes you’re having. Where do you need to show up more often? Where do you need to stand up more often? How will that serve you?
MENTAL PRESENCE – ATTENTION, AWARENESS
“You will always remember the moments you are truly present for.”
A friend of mine shared this little nugget of wisdom with me a couple of years ago and I was stunned by the truth of it. Think of all the moments you’ve captured with your phone, that looking back, you can’t recall.
Driving is a great place to exercise more presence, more awareness. We are operating a 4-ton machine at high speeds with dozens or hundreds of other 4-ton machines and any number of variable conditions. Does this seem like the right time to engage in other activities? Like eating, putting on makeup, talking on your phone, texting, checking email, posting a facebook status update? Seriously. I am just as guilty as the next person of doing these things from time to time, but I have become MUCH more mindful of giving my full attention during my drive times.
Being present at home, with your family or pets or even for yourself is another wonderful idea. When and where are you most present in your life? There will be clues here for you. Protect these moments and your quality of life will benefit.
ENGAGEMENT & IMPACT
“If your presence doesn’t make an impact, your absence won’t make a difference.”
What is your Intention for being where you are? Are you really engaging with the intent to have impact? Are you serving on a board, but you don’t know why? Are you showing up for a volunteer commitment out of obligation and resenting it? Are you going through the motions in any area of your life or work without any real intent to have impact? Are you withholding your full engagement for some reason?
15 MINUTES – 3 QUESTIONS
Take 15 minutes, grab a pen and some paper and answer these 3 questions. Inside the answers you’ll find the keys to having a greater presence and greater impact in your world and the world.
- Where in your life do you find it difficult to be fully present?
- What are your go-to ways for avoiding being fully present?
- What can you do, what WILL you do to be more fully present in your life this week?
“When we are present, we approach our biggest challenges with excitement instead of fear, act with self-assurance instead of anxiety and leave with satisfaction instead of regret.”
Go forth, and be fully present.
When you do, you will be doing a great service to yourself, those you love, those you lead and those you serve.