Personal Development and Self Improvement
If you’re into personal development or self improvement, you’ll have some feel for the importance placed by many experts on being focused in the here and now. Ekhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’ extols the virtues of what might be described as presence of mind. However, Tolle, together with other personal development ‘gurus’, doesn’t either adequately explain why ‘Now’ is so important or, indeed, offer practical advice on how to be more ‘all here’.
First off, now is the only place and time that actually exists – the past is something you learn from (although psychology confirms that most of us don’t learn but subconsciously live there) and the future is something that will only transpire the way you want if you’re prepared to be focused and effective in the present. In addition, quantum physics suggests that the universe only exists now – and it proves that universal energy responds to our energy – now. In other words, it is crucial to be present. Being present will give you ‘presence’ – the true sign of all successful people.
The big problem is that normal people are not present. Our subconscious is focused in our childhood, whilst our conscious mind is plagued by useless thought – thoughts tending towards negative self-doubt and worry. Consequently, it’s hardly surprising that research suggests that the normal person is just one percent present. If this is the case, you are hardly likely to elicit much response from a waiting universe.
In short, it is imperative that you become more present. But how? Being present means being focused on where you are and what you’re doing now. Many people, according to lots of surveys, are not focused on what they’re doing, preferring instead to do what they’re doing whilst thinking that they don’t like what they’re doing! In addition, most of us haven’t understood the simplicity of what focus is. Focus means paying attention – nothing more. It means tuning into the reality of the moment, using the only mechanism that’s available to you to do this – your five senses. These are your only interface with the world. Yet we pay no attention to what our senses are telling us, we’d prefer to let our subconscious put its own spin on reality. We all use our preconceived ideas to make sense of now and, as a result, make utter nonsense of it. Self Improvement becomes difficult because of this inability to focus thought.
For Self Improvement to manifest-you’ve got to re-learn how to pay attention. We were all experts at it when we were young. The effortless way to relearn is to set some time aside to re-focus one sense at a time. I suggest that you find somewhere quiet to sit tomorrow morning. Close your eyes and notice how all the sounds around you become more defined. They’re not, of course, you’ve just started paying more attention. Notice what you’re feeling in your body – feelings that you would not notice when you’re normally inattentive. Next morning you might spend a few minutes noticing how your body’s responses when you breathe. Five minutes each morning will considerably affect your ability to pay attention throughout the day – you’ll be more focused, more present, more in tune with what’s going on and the opportunities the moment offers.
And you can start measuring your presence by reference to your results. You’ll find yourself more responsive to situations and people that they might otherwise fail to notice or avoid completely, you’ll be more open to doing things that you wouldn’t otherwise do. And, on the basis that the one thing that has your life stuck in a rut is the fact that you rarely do anything different, bold or courageous, this can only be a good thing. Through your presence you will not just be open to new opportunity – you’ll actually create your own opportunities. The net result is that, at least, your life moves forward – in the right direction, you begin to master self improvement. At most, your life will never be the same – you will achieve effortless and measurable, happiness and success