Be Present

Concept 2 Life #2: Be Present

You have to have a target in mind. It is based on past performances, but it is only a target. You can remember your past, but you can’t live there. When you are on that machine, you have to be wholly there in the moment.

You can’t even look to far ahead. You can imagine the next segment. You can envision completing the work and what the results will look like in the future. But when in the saddle, it is only the next stroke that matters. All there, right now.

I first learned this lesson running on trails. Definitely no looking back. You can look ahead a bit, but you better be sure of your next foot strike. And though the headphones might help some zone out, I prefer not to do it. When I am on a trail in the woods, I want access to all my senses, especially my hearing.

Being present when rowing, running, or engaging in any exercise, is great training for being present in life. It is frustrating when you are speaking and you see the lost look in the face of the person you are conversing with. Imagine how they feel when they see that same look in your face. Now imagine when nothing else matters but that present moment. No distractions mentally, no interruptions from the outside. Just you present, able to listen to your partner, children, co-workers, or friends. Able to get the most out of your meetings, the most out of life.

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. –Lao Tzu

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