From the moment we wake up in the morning, our minds and bodies shift from first gear directly to fifth gear. We hit the shower, prepare breakfast, dress the kids for school, engage in a quick argument with the spouse, and then rush off to catch the public transportation to get to work on time. Once we arrive at the office, we’re bombarded with over fifty email messages – all marked as “high priority”. It takes a few minutes to decide whether to complete our pending work or immediately reply to an irate customer. Once we have finally decoded the customer’s concern, due to his terrible English grammar, it’s time to rush for the first meeting. The meeting lasts for three hours, and then it’s time for lunch. If we’re lucky, we get a chance to have lunch alone at the desk while completing a report or project. As the sun sets, we look forward to returning home. This clearly isn’t the end of the day. We may need to prepare dinner, attend a stress relaxation class at the gym, or socialize with our friends online/offline. As the clock strikes mid-night we rest our heads on the pillow. Unfortunately, even while we are asleep the activities of the day lurk in our dreams, and before we know it, we are stretching to reach the snooze button on the annoying alarm clock. Following this, another exciting day begins. This was Dino’s schedule, and most likely you share a similar or an even more demanding one. Many of us refer to our lives as a rat race – always busy, striving to gain as much as possible in the shortest amount of time, and then feeling drained or unsatisfied. Even if we were granted 50 hours in a day, with this lifestyle, it would be fairly easy to occupy every minute, while we continue to complain or brag that we don’t have enough time.
Without a doubt, this is unhealthy and will eventually burn us out. Our minds become cluttered with all the activities on hand, while trying to evaluate the previous action and figure out how and when to perform the next one. We lose track and are unable to concentrate on the task at hand. This mindset continues for years and eventually we become accustomed to behaving in this manner. Even when we try to relax, our minds are racing in a million directions at once. We lose the essence of the moment because we’re mentally dwelling either in the past or the future.
This does not mean that we should ignore the past and the lessons it offers to teach us, or avoid planning for the future, however, we must schedule a time for ‘evaluation’ and ‘planning’. Once in a while, it’s beneficial to slide over to the passenger ‘s seat and allow our intuition drive, while we view and admire the scenery. Whether we come across an ugly neighborhood or a beautiful town, on a bumpy or smooth road during a rainy or sunny day, following a detour or while having an accident. Witness and enjoy the journey – we will eventually arrive at the destination if it’s meant to be.
When we share our success stories or struggles with others, we always reflect on the journey, either with a smile or tears flowing down. The journey offers us the opportunity to unleash dormant talents within us, and reveal to the world, our courage, wisdom, and passion in life. We inspire those around us by the turbulence that we have encountered and overcome in order to arrive at our destination. We often hear the phrase “time flies”. Time doesn’t fly, we do. Time ticks at a constant rate, it is relative to each individual. We lose track of time when we are enjoying with our friends or working on a project with passion. However, a patient suffering from a terminal illness may experience time as a drag..
Let us make an effort to live every moment, in the moment. We very well know that the next one isn’t promised to us. As we focus on the current activity, un-clutter the mind, and avoid distractions, we invite creativity to flow within us. Dino has undertaken this challenge and will remind himself to return to the present whenever his mind drifts off, until living in the moment becomes a habit.
“Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition.” - Sir William Osler