How is This Moment? January 19, 2018
A friend from Facebook posted that she saw the first Valentine’s Day display at her local big box store on December 26. Although I joined the many who rolled my eyes and uttered disapproving words about the early nature of Valentine’s Day promotion, it also occurred to me that this is an important phenomenon we all might want to study.
It’s no wonder that the next holiday is barely on the heels of the previous. We are in an ‘I need the next thing now’ culture where results are instant, and it’s on to the next and the next. Being in the moment is a fleeting concept contradicted by the next distraction. Yet we yearn for peace, calm, and joy.
A client of mine recently received the promotion she had been seeking. Her delight was palpable, and she wanted to be the model of excellence in her new role. She also wanted work/life equilibrium so she could be a good leader and a good mom. She soon discovered that the pressures to achieve results were unbearable. She forged a habit of being in constant anticipation of what’s next? The very things that she valued in leadership went by the wayside and she resorted to getting things done. Minimal time and constant pressure to produce better than before challenged every part of her life. She lost touch with her spouse and kids and saw herself in an either/or position – family or work? All of it seemed hollow and she was lost in a whirlwind of external expectations and pressures. Producing results trumped her values.
Thankfully, she had an awakening. She realized that if she shifted how she approached her job, she would change what she did. She made the conscious decision to be fully present for each and every interaction, regardless of heavy demands for her time. Not only did she find joy in her work, her team was happier. The performance measures also improved – a pleasant surprise.
We coaches would serve our clients well to inspire a way of thinking and being that encourages full presence each moment. Our clients would discover that the most precious gift of all is right here. Imagine the ripple effect one leader changes her approach from reactive to mindful? From the constant anticipation of what’s next to have a quiet but powerful presence? It might just start a trend.
To achieve this requires intention, personal commitment, and putting our values into action. But the payoff is great – as it results in greater peace, calm and joy. Not a bad way to live.