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Why You Have To Live In The Moment

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It was a casual Friday afternoon, and I was getting ready to hit the juice bar and then go home for a relaxing night. I got a call from one of my work colleagues, like I normally do late on a Friday. This colleague informed me that someone I worked with had passed away.

The fellow in question was a gentleman named Craig. I use the word gentleman because he was one in the truest sense. He had a 1920’s-like charm about him, and a voice that could calm even the most anxious person. I had never met this man in person, but I spoke to him almost daily as we were working together. The bizarre thing was that he had died three weeks before I received the news.

Being in another state of Australia, people just didn’t pass the message on. I can say honestly that when he was alive, I wish I had gotten to know him better. Our calls were probably too business-like and not focused enough on the important stuff. It’s this fact that might explain why we never completed a business deal together in over twelve months.

After about six months of knowing Craig, he came to work one day coughing really badly. Like many people, I thought it was just the flu. Weeks passed, and he still had the same cough. No serious medical attention was sought until a few months later. As it turns out, he had lung cancer even though he’s not a smoker.

He left behind four children and a loving family. So what can we learn from this seemingly sad story? What’s your damn point, Tim? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

I want to share with you 4 things I learned from Craig that helped me live more in the moment:

1. Our heart is always bleeding

It seems like right now, every second or third week someone I care about is dying. This is the very nature of our existence, and all of our hearts are constantly bleeding. The more influence and success you have, the more people you know, and therefore the more likely tragedy will strike when you least expect it.

“None of us can stop our hearts bleeding because they are supposed to”

We’ve all got pain to deal with, and every one of us is trying to keep a brave face. What if you stopped trying to keep a brave face and focused on opening your heart rather than closing it?

What I mean by this is that, rather than hide your pain or pretend that you’re perfect, why couldn’t you share every part of yourself? That’s what I’m trying to do and yet I’m a long way from perfect. In fact, I hate the word perfect and you should too. I’m flawed like the rest of our species and proud of it.

Take stories like the one I shared about Craig, and rather than be permanently sad, use the lessons to allow your heart to bleed temporarily, and then triumph again. We’re here to rise and fall. Make sure you spend more time rising than you do falling. Change the odds in you favour to transform your life.

2. Always be kind

This man Craig taught me one thing if nothing else: always be kind, even in the face of stress and pressure. Working in finance, Craig had to deal with large amounts of stress and very demanding clients. No matter what, he always wanted to be kind.

You couldn’t shake the guy or make him feel like any less of a man. People could say things about him, and he didn’t care. He knew who he was and insisted on being an exceptional human being in all scenarios.

This lesson is one that I have worked really hard on, and I encourage you to do the same. For me, I started making small shifts. Today, I asked a homeless man what would make his day. He told me that a bottle of Coke would be awesome. Now anyone who knows me knows that Coke would be the last drink on Earth I would endorse.

In this situation, though, it wasn’t about me or my beliefs. The crux of it was about being kind. This homeless man wanted a bottle of Coke, and I was not going to deny him. I went and got his drink, brought it back for him, and saw his face light up.

Some of you might say that that’s only one face on one day, and that’s correct. What you might be missing is that when one face lights up it can, in turn, light up another.

“When we’re kind, we demonstrate that strangers do care”

If we all did one small act like buying a bottle of Coke for someone, maybe we could change the world.

By being kind, we’re living in the moment and not being caught up in the race that is going on in our mind. Changing the world seems such an enormous task, but it’s not. Like success, it’s all the small actions we take that make the big difference.

The last point I want to make on kindness is that when you receive this magical gift, acknowledge it. Every day, I get lots of nice messages on social media and via email. Rather than let this gift inflate my ego, I make sure I respond to every single one with a sentence of inspiration.

It takes up my time, but it also allows me to appreciate the moment. Every message fuels me to keep on writing and to find the nuggets of gold from the events of my life, and then share them with you all. It’s not about being significant; it’s about accepting kindness and giving it straight back.

Follow the way Craig lived his life and be kind to as many people as you come into contact with. Once you’ve mastered this gift, give it to someone else and watch their life change. Now go forth and get to work young padawan.

3. Play all out

Almost everyone (especially me) is not giving it our all. What I mean by this is that we have periods of success and positivity, and then we have dark times that follow. The dark times are needed, but the trouble is that they make up way too much of our life.

Those dark times stop us from playing all out and not giving a F&%$ about anything. If you could get some perspective on how awesome it is to be alive as a human being, your circumstances will entirely change. You’ll no longer eat your life away with junk food.

You’ll pour the alcohol down the sink and refuse to go to venues that are designed to numb rather than inspire. Playing all out equals living in the moment. Playing all out is the acknowledgment that you understand how crucial this very moment is right now.

Playing all out is accepting your mortality, fist pumping the air, and giving more than 100% because it would be criminal not to. It’s about more than just participating; it’s about taking it to a level that no one around you is prepared to take it to.

It’s being the guy or girl who people look at and wonder what the heck is wrong with you. It’s the resilience that makes you forget about those judgemental eyes and allows you to focus on the moment. All you have is this moment. The next moment is not guaranteed.

4. You’re here for a blink of an eye

If you look up at the stars each night, you’ll realize pretty quickly that we are all here for a blink of an eye. Our problems are so small compared to the giant mass that is our universe. Time will keep rolling on, and even if the human race dies off one day, the universe will remain.

There will always be something bigger than us. This idea is very important because it stops us from both sweating the small stuff and caring about what everyone else thinks. You and I are both powerful creatures, and because our time is so limited, we should learn to appreciate time.

We should learn that time is all we have and it doesn’t stop for anything. In my own life, I’ve had the chance at love and sometimes hesitated. What if I just stopped thinking about what could happen, and just told the person how I felt right then and there?

If I love them in that moment, then I should tell them so because just like Craig, they could be gone tomorrow. If the worst happens, and we haven’t told that one person how much we love and care about them, we run the risk of having regret.

Let’s put the games of relationships and business aside, and be our authentic selves. Tell the world who you are and live it every day until your last breath. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

Do you feel you’re living in the moment? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. TH

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Good one and something I often struggle with. I tend to live in the future, sometimes in the past, but rarely in the moment. This “Playing all out is accepting your mortality” resonates a lot, we are not immortal probably the best thing to remind yourself of in order to stay and live in the moment.

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Life

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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How You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Your Advantage

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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)

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