Life comes at us quick. From endless work schedules that drain us of our time, to eventful weekends with friends that never seem long enough, or family vacations that end in a flash. Life happens quickly, and if you’re not paying attention it will pass by before our eyes. We need to slow down and take time to appreciate everything around us, from our friends and loved ones to the little gifts life offers us. Without conscious acknowledgement of time, we can often take our life for granted and see it slip by faster than we anticipated. Things have become even worse with technology and cell phones. We spend so much time glued to our screens that we miss the beauty life showcases around us.
I am guilty of this! My career and social life often consumes me. I am not just talking about schedules, but also mental focus and the capacity to appreciate it all. Going to a weekend away with my friends, my excitement is an all-time high. However, often as the weekend ends I realize how quickly it has come and gone. It happens to us all. Letting time pass by without taking it all in and appreciating the moment. And that’s what matters most: being in the moment, not letting the moment control us.
Conversely, we had all had those moment where we were really in it. When we are consciously present, absorbing our surroundings and finding gratitude with our state of being. A memorable time this happened to me was my graduation! In this moment, it was almost as if I felt life slow briefly. For in that instant, everything felt right in world. How often does this happen to you? Has it ever happened to you? Could you consciously train yourself to discover more of these “present” state-of-mind moments?
My challenge to you is to find more of these moments. Intentionally change your state of mind to one that is present. Be aware of your surroundings, absorb it all. Feel as though your perception of time is at your control. What do you hear? Who is around you? Where are you and why? Become a beacon that scans the entire environment, registering every little detail.
Next and most importantly, truly captivate time by finding gratitude. Be grateful for your life whether past, present, or future. Appreciation changes our whole demeanor to a more positive state of mind. It relaxes us and helps us focus. This focuses us more on what matters, and drowns out the stressful noise of daily life–the noise that might otherwise consume us during our hectic life. Being thankful helps us cherish the moment.
Try it now! Change your state from being to present. Look around you. What do you hear? What do you feel? What are you grateful for?
This is something I have begun to do more and more throughout my life to find that present state of mind. Even if it’s a stimulating environment, such as a crowded bar, I will take a moment to absorb it all. Find gratitude in the moment: I am with some of my friends. I am healthy. I am here.
My Challenge to you is to try being more present. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially during our most stimulating and chaotic moments, yet with enthusiasm and conscious effort you can make the best of every second. The more often you do it, the more it becomes a habit. The more present you are the happier and more appreciative you will be in your life. You’re special and so is your life. Now stop letting it slip by you and start living in the moment!