Many people equate happiness with the how much material wealth a person has, but material possessions alone do not provide happiness. In fact it is often the case that the more material possessions people have the less happy they are. This is because people have a built-in dissatisfaction with they have and own. People always want more. We always try to get more money, more power, or more comfort.
Unless we learn how to moderate these insatiable demands that we have built into our mental and physical make-up system and instead learn how to enjoy the moment as it goes by, unless we enjoy the passage of time, the activities we do as they occur instead of always wishing for more, we are going to be disillusioned and disappointed at the end of life.
Happiness does not come from owning material things, rather it comes from the everyday activities we do. Happiness comes from relishing the moment. It comes from living rather than from desiring to get something in the future.
What is being in the moment? Being in the moment is the feeling of complete involvement with what you are doing. It happens when you’re concentrating on achieving a goal and the feeling that you get when you have accomplished your goal.
I’m sure you’ve seen the happiness on the faces of children engrossed in play. You have probably seen the intensity on the faces of athletes when they’re trying to break a record, and I’m sure there have been times when you too have been carried away by a feeling of exhilaration, or profound enjoyment.
While Being in the moment varies from person to person, the general principles are uniform from young and old, male and female, rich and poor. Once you learn how being in the moment occurs and how it feels, you will enrich the quality of your life.
When you are in the moment, you’re doing an activity where the goals of the activity are clear, nothing is conflicting or confusing. In other words you know exactly what you have to do and you know without a doubt that what you are doing is getting you closer to your goal. You can measure you activity by actually seeing that your results are immediate. You know moment by moment how well you’re doing.
To be in the moment means doing activities that are enjoyable and that the challenges of the activity are matched with you own skills. In other words, what there is to do is in balance with what you can do. For example, playing chess, tennis, or a game of cards is much more enjoyable if your opponent is about at the same level of ability as you are.
When an activity has clear goals, immediate feedback, and matches challenges and skills, then you will have a feeling of focus or concentration on what you’re doing. When you are living in the moment, the duality of attention that we all have in every day life will disappear.
Most of the time we have this kind of split attention where we are thinking and we are doing it We are watching, monitoring what’s happening around us while we are doing something else. For example, suppose you’re having lunch with a friend or a colleague and he or she is talking to you. You are physically there but your mind is thinking about several other things. You hear the other person talking, but you’re not really focused on what he or she is saying. You have split attention.
When you’re in the moment, this split attention focuses and merges into a single kind of beam of concentrated focused attention. This is why, when you live in the moment you can accomplish so much more.
When you’re in the moment you are so effortlessly, spontaneously, and efficiently focused, you are not aware of any problems that are occurring around you in your everyday life. The every day frustrations are removed from your attention. You simply cannot attend to them.
For example, if you’re playing a competitive game of tennis, you cannot worry about your family life, about your income tax, about your boss, or about any of the things that in everyday life often intrude on your attention. This is what makes living in the moment such a great feeling. You’re operating in the present without worrying about the past or about the future, instead you’re completely concentrated on what you’re doing.
When you’re in the moment you feel in complete control of your actions, experience, and your life. Time seems to be transformed. I’m sure you’ve had times when hours get condensed into what seemed to be minutes. For example, you start a job in the morning and before you know it you say: “Oh maybe it’s time for lunch,” but actually it’s time for dinner because it’s not been just two hours, but eight hours than have passed.
Our life is made up of a series of never ending moments that just pass us by most of the time and we miss so much of what life has to offer we allow this to happen. Being in the moment allows you to have fun and enjoy life. When you learn to relish each moment and live life to it’s fullest you will realize the kind of happiness you’ve always dreamed of.
Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many businesses around the world, on the subjects of leadership, achievement, goals, strategic business planning, and marketing.
Reach Joe at: email@example.com
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