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How To Harness The Power Of Being Present
From the very beginning of my coaching career, I’ve been aware that getting trapped in their past is one of the biggest things holding entrepreneurs back in their lives. Yet it is the present that holds all the possibility, growth, excitement, and satisfaction of being an entrepreneur. Being present in the moment is an undeniable catalyst for success.
Traps from the past.
A trap could be a perceived personal limitation of some kind that may have been picked up on early in life. It could be a memory that hasn’t been figured out or resolved in some way. Or it could be the memory of a past failure, an uncomfortable emotional situation, or a big mistake that was made.
So, whenever a new and exciting opportunity comes up, first there’s the initial excitement, and then the memory of a negative situation from the past stops any forward movement. We all know people who are held back by a particular situation, relationship, or experience from their past, with no hope of truly being present in the moment.
And then, the future traps.
On the other end of the spectrum lies the future, with its own set of mind traps. With the explosion of technological progress all around us and all the possibilities of what could be — the much bigger and better results from using new kinds of technology — I notice just as many people getting trapped in the future.
Just like people trapped in the past, those trapped in the future are having a hard time operating in the present, actually being present in the moment. You can tell when you’re having a conversation with them; they give you only half of their attention.
Their mind wanders. They’re distracted, most often by a cell phone. They can’t stay with a line of thought for more than a minute, and then they’re on to something else. We’ve all experienced this (or are guilty of it).
The greatest life skill today.
In our personal life and in every area of business, one of the most desirable and useful skills today is to be fully where you are, and to give your full attention to whomever you’re with or to whatever you’re working on.
We live in a highly distracting world, so I realize that this requires real intellectual, psychological, and emotional muscle not to be pulled back into the past or forward into the future. Both are just an idea in our minds. The only reality is the present.
I would say that not only has my success increased as I’ve learned to live my life day by day in the present, my satisfaction in life has also increased along with it.
There’s no possible satisfaction from being trapped in the past or in the future because these are just thoughts in your mind. So you’re actually not trapped in the past or the future — only by your thoughts about your past and your future.
My muscle-building “being present” exercise.
I’m a big fan of thinking exercises that involve paper and pen or pencil. Our brains have been scientifically proven to engage more with an idea when pen is put to paper. So let’s get started.
Set the timer on your phone for two minutes and write down all your winning achievements over the past 90 days, usually around five to ten things. Next, set the timer again and write down all the things that are creating progress right now in the present. Finally, set the timer and write down everything you’re thinking about in terms of your future.
When I take our clients through this exercise in The Strategic Coach Program, you can almost feel them settling in, getting grounded and centered in their thinking. They’re 100% present — and that’s where the learning happens.
“Be 100% present in the moment. That’s where the learning happens.”
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Enjoy all the benefits of being present.
When you’re actually focused on being present, amazing things happen. Great creative ideas happen, great decisions and plans happen, and energy and momentum are created for what has to happen to keep things moving.
Simply writing down your list of what you’re proud of from the past quarter, what’s giving you energy right now, and what you’re excited about in the future gets you started. Now you can do some deeper thinking, communicate your ideas to those around you more clearly, and make considered decisions you can be confident about.
You’ve given yourself permission to be present, and your results will reflect that every time.
“Give yourself permission to be present, and your results will reflect that every time.”
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Discover 12 simple ways to make sure you’re truly present in every aspect of your life.
About the Author
Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dan Sullivan