by Serena Calderoni Change is part of the world’s very essence and nothing repeats in exactly the same way. Indeed, the only thing that never changes is change itself. Gregory Bateson For a long time, I thought that changing jobs was only an option for people with clear goals and clear ideas; in fact, every time …
The end of 2016 is approaching and our attention is split between a glance backwards, to assess the past season, and plans for the year ahead, with 12 months brand new months awaiting. But what if rather than living su
spended between past and future, we tried to live the present? What’s in the “here and now?” The answer is disarmingly simple: we are here, at this very moment, as we move from who we were to who we will be.
The present holds the key to our authentic evolution, but at times we seem to mislay this key.
So, over the festive season let’s give ourselves the gift of greater awareness of the present, made of gratitude, trust and other gifts that we will try to discover together.
Stuck in the past
Just how many people are prisoners of the past? Such people are easy to recognize from their catchphrases: “If only I had…”, “I’ve always been like that …”, “If I could go back in time …”, “It was better when it was worse …”, “Better the devil you know…”. The past is the sum of the experiences we have been through and should serve to gather knowledge about ourselves and others, to check on our development, perfecting what has worked and learning from our mistakes. But all too often we hang on to values, beliefs and opinions that are no longer really ours, or to excuses that even we no longer find convincing, but to which we feel so strongly bound that we are almost forced to maintain them alive. Our advice?
Forgive yourself for any “mistakes” you may have made. Accept the lesson from the past and then move on, sure of the fact that you did everything you could.
We only act in the present; the past can provide data and information to avoid new errors and make the most of our experiences, but it never provides solutions.
The future yet to come
This was the slogan that launched the telephone company Blu on the Italian market some years ago, and in just a few months the company disappeared from the scene. The future is a wonderful thing; it fills our minds with dreams and hopes, but … it does not actually exist, it’s an illusion and if we linger there too long it will distract us from the only really important time to act: now!
If we focus too much of our energy on what could or might be, we risk losing the wealth of opportunities that the present can offer.
Dreaming and imagining the future is very like undertaking a journey by looking at pictures taken from the Internet: they may seem exciting but you are missing the sounds, colours and scents you would experience by living the moment. Anticipating and planning your future too carefully removes the flavour of life, distracting you from signals, coincidences and those impromptu moments that conceal precious lessons and magical encounters. So do not sacrifice today for a reward that you may receive at some distant time in the future, because in doing so you risk wasting your life, as well as the passion and energy you need to achieve concrete results.
Dedicated to the present
Although past and future are not real, they wield power inside our heads and guide our internal dialogue, the flurry of thoughts that distract us from the “here and now”. How can we fully live in the present? We have to “get out of our head” and exploit our senses. For example, in the workplace make the effort to observe your customers and colleagues as though you were seeing them for the first time; pay attention to the environment in which you live and be amazed by the sounds that have always surrounded you but were experienced as mere background noise. During meals with your family actually smell the food before you taste it and then enjoy the flavour and texture as if you were discovering the ancient traditions of an unknown culture: your own.
Take a fresh look out of the window of your home, with the curiosity and wonder of a child, observe the view offered at this point of your journey with gratitude and trust.
In the course of 2017 let’s try to learn something new about ourselves by getting out of the “comfy chair” that is handy for dwelling on the past or daydreaming about the future, but useless if we are hoping to find the brilliant idea that will change our lives for the better. Rather we should start laying the groundwork for that idea, using the present for “doing”, perhaps firstly making mistakes, but then correcting our course.
To wish you a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year, we will take a beautiful saying from the film Kung Fu Panda when the Master Oogway explains to his pupil Po:
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift
That is why it is called the present.” We wish that you may also live the present intensely, like a gift to yourself and to others. For our part, we sincerely thank you for being part of our 2016, for staying with us through 2017 but above all for taking time once again to focus on the here and now by reading the last article of the year: the blog Diario di un Consulente is going on vacation, so we’ll see you on January 9 with the first article of the new season. In the meantime, should you wish to do so, you can continue following us on our Facebook page.
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