This is something I write in capital letters on the back of my hand every single morning. This was inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now , which focuses heavily on maintaining a connection to the present moment. Life becomes exponentially easier when you can harness and leverage the present moment to eliminate, or at least lessen fear and worry.
Where do fear and worry come from?
Fear and worry are both a by-product of being way outside of the present moment. Fear and worry are the ego’s favourite emotions, as it loves to attempt to predict what is going to happen tomorrow, next month, next year, even a decade from now.
Fear and worry sneak up at the least convenient of times, rearing their ugly head when you are on the brink of pushing past your previous conditioning and limitations.
Fear and worry come from trying to predict the future from the present moment.
The antidote? Grounding yourself in the present moment
Right here, right now. This is the only thing that exists. The sound of the keyboard click (which is delightful, as I finally just replaced my previous dinosaur laptop), the sound of the refrigerator, the beauty of a completely silent household, this is all that is real.
The past? It happened, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The future? It’s on its way, but we don’t know what circumstances are going to be lined up in or against our favour.
So why don’t we just enjoy the present moment? It’s because our minds are always somewhere else.
We’re in the shower, but our minds are already at work
We’re laying in bed, but our minds are still scrolling through our messy email inbox
We’re eating dinner, but our minds are on tomorrow’s past-due project and the consequences that will follow if it is not turned in on time.
In the present moment, there is no anxiety
How do you actually make the most of this present moment? This is an incredibly brief exercise I came up with. Simply note ten things around you that exist right now. Don’t overthink it, just make a list in your head or on paper of ten things that you can see in your proximity. Next, note one thing about it. This could be what it’s used for, what you like about it, what it reminds you of, etc.
My list would look something like this:
- The lamp. I like the way that the lamp hangs over the couch, because it angles itself perfectly for when I sit down to read in the morning. The light just aims right down on top of my book, but not so brightly that it creates glare on the pages.
- My running shoes. These shoes remind me that I was lucky enough to go to the gym today. Going to the gym is one of my favourite things to do, and these shoes remind me of the euphoric feeling that occurs when I begin running on the treadmill.
- My daughter’s highchair. There are some small specks of ink on the highchair, they remind me that tomorrow morning I am going to be sitting in this exact same chair, while she sits next to me and colours while it’s still dark out. I am lucky to be able to start my days like this.
- My bookshelf. God I love this bookshelf. When I look at it, and I see the titles of all of the books I am lucky enough to own, it reminds me of one thing: I can literally learn my way to becoming skilled at anything. I am thankful for this bookshelf because it reminds me that there was a time when I had absolutely no interest in developing myself or my own knowledge.
- The candle in front of me. This candle always reminds me of Christmas, my favourite time of the year.
- My notepad sitting next to me. On the page I am looking at sit a multitude of strange calculations I made today while assessing different stocks. When I look at this page, I am thankful that I have a passion for learning how to invest and trade my money, and I know my future self is thanking me.
- My water bottle. It’s actually a YETI water bottle that my wife gave me for my birthday. This makes me think how lucky I am to even have clean drinking water! When was the last time you took a moment and said “I am so frigging glad I can drink my tap water”. If you can’t drink your tap water, go to a house where you can drink the tap water and drink their tap water. Make sure you are allowed at this house before entering.
- The kettle. This reminds me that I just discovered a new green tea that is the absolute bomb, and I am going to start my day with one tomorrow.
- Our dining room chairs. These chairs are not anything fancy, but they remind me of the time that I put them together. My wife and I both had given up, assuming we were sent the wrong parts, only to realize after two hours that we were trying to attach one piece completely backwards. She went into our bedroom because she was frustrated, when she came out all the chairs were completely put together.
- Our baseboard heater. Kind of like clean drinking water, simply living in a house that has heat is something to be incredibly thankful for.
I don’t know how to describe the emotion that I feel right now, but if I had to put a finger on it, it would be appreciative.
You might not be sitting in a house with heat, or clean drinking water, but no matter what you can always find a way to shine a light on things. Even if things aren’t going well right now, look around and be thankful for what you currently do have, and everything that you’d miss if it were taken from you tomorrow.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at changeDr. Wayne W. Dyer
It is said that the state of gratitude and appreciation is one of the highest-vibration states you can be in? This feeling completely elevated the way that I feel, and all I want to do now is find more things in this present moment that I can be thankful for.
Even if you don’t like your life situation right now, don’t push against it. The harder you resist it, the more it will push back against you.
I choose to feel grounded in the present moment, I feel aligned with who I really am, I feel happy.
After all, happiness is the only thing we truly want.
Try this exercise right now, repeat this exercise once daily for at least 21 days, and watch your mood shift from lack to prosperity.