Are We Really In That Much of a Hurry?
This past weekend I dropped off a few items of clothing at the dry cleaner. As I was waiting for my receipt to print (it actually took less than 5 seconds), the cashier began apologizing profusely for the computer being so slow and for making me wait.
I was taken aback by her response. At first, I wondered if I was showing signs of impatience or being in a hurry, because like many of us, I am capable of giving off that vibe. But that day, I was relaxed, feeling good and really taking a very relaxed approach to the day. So if it wasn’t me, or at least not me in that particular instance, why was the clerk so quick to apologize for how long it was taking? I really don’t know why, and because I failed to inquire I can only assume that many of us, most of the time, seem to be in a hurry or anxious – not to experience the present moment, but to get to wherever we are going next, even if we often do not know where that is.
It reminded me of the idea of ONE, Only Now Exists – that the only moment that exists is the present moment, and our future is directly influenced and impacted by how in tuned we are to the only point in time … now.
Pay attention today to how present you are to everything you do. When you are driving or walking, are you truly noticing and experiencing everything that you pass or interact with, or are you so preoccupied with where you’ve been or where you are going that you miss almost everything else? It is a scary thought, but how often have you arrived at a destination, wondering how you got there – lost in a sea of past and present thoughts?
Being emotionally intelligent, a key factor in long-term leadership effectiveness and performances, requires us to tune into our feelings and the feelings of others, real time. Tuning in and becoming increasingly aware of how we and others are thinking and feeling presents us with the opportunity to choose the most appropriate response in the moment. Appropriate responses create connection, connection creates influence, and influence creates engagement and alignment.
One quick technique for helping us become more fully aware, present, and patient is to set a timer for multiple times throughout the day. When the timer goes off, check in with what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Next, take a deep diaphragmatic breath (full breath in for four and full breath out for four). Once you’ve completed your deep breath, set an intention to stay fully present and patient for the next segment of the day, until the timer goes off again.
For guidance on staying present and achieving your goals, ask us about our one-on-one executive coaching.