On Leadership: Be Present and Live in the Moment

24 Hour Fitness CEO Mark Smith talks about using energy to live in the moment.

How many times have you heard how important it is to “live in the moment” or “be present”? And how many times did you think, “That’s nice, but I’m too busy! Deadlines, homework, bills — I have way too many commitments and demands on my time to drop everything and be ‘in the moment.’”

Besides, you’re falling asleep in front of the TV, stopping for coffee on the way to work after the cup you had at home — and how are you going to make it through the day and then the kids’ recital?

Time for roll call. Are you here? Maybe you got off to a great start this month: you haven’t missed your weekly hockey practice once, so far. You’re on track with your weekly budget. You’ve made dinner from scratch every night of the week. You feel great about it — and exhausted. Or maybe you haven’t done what you’d planned and you’re feeling pretty discouraged — and exhausted by all the things that are keeping you from your plans.

Being present can be very hard when you’re just trying to get through the day.

Five senses lead to energy

Most of us think of “being present” as something you do by yourself, possible only when you finally have the time on vacation, or when you meditate. But there are many things you can do anytime, every day, to be present. These are steps to take in relationship to yourself, to other things and other people. For instance …

Words can lead to energy

Speaking from experience, listening to others without a filter or preconceived ideas can transform personal and business relationships from exhausting to energizing. When you find you’re already formulating your response in your mind, stop and listen. Or, change your response from “no, because” to “yes, and.” It’s an improvisational comedy technique adopted by successful business leaders to listen, acknowledge and build upon someone else’s perspective in a way that’s ultimately positive for both.

When it comes to being in the moment, famed athlete Diana Nyad has something to say about listening, as well. You can’t ignore that it’s human nature to reckon with the past and to dream the future. Having pursued a goal that took more than 30 years to accomplish, Nyad should know. When she goes to bed, she asks herself whether she made this day worthwhile: was I in the moment all day, while I was taking in the past, and sparked by a vision of the future? And she listens to find out how she can improve upon tomorrow.

We want to know, when you go to bed tonight, will you have made this day worthwhile?

Photo credit: Thinkstock, iStock, milanvirijevic.