This week I heard a saying. One that is pretty simple when you first hear it, and only consists of two words. But these two words hold so much meaning when you really sit and think about them. You may be thinking ‘how can two words hold so much meaning?’. But that is just it. How we all interpret things in our daily lives will differ from person to person. One person will see something in one way, and another person may see it in a completely different way. But that is the beauty of being an individual. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all had the same opinions, and all looked at every situation from the same view point.
We are the Information Age. Never has it been so easy and so quick to get information, and we are bombarded with all sorts through each day. Now don’t get me wrong, in our modern world this is key, and information and knowledge are power. However, there is a ‘but’, and to me it’s a pretty big but. Our lives now revolve around technology, games, social media, television, computers and the list goes on and on and on. It is so incredibly easy to lose hours of our days consumed by technology. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of this. I often find myself reading through news, checking emails or messages, or just browsing the internet because ‘it’s there’. There is often no real purpose, but because it is there and occupies my mind, I will just instinctively do it. I believe that without even realising it, our brains, our unconscious mind will take us down the easy path, all in an attempt to provide comfort and safety as all it wants is to protect us.
This is where these two words come in. These two little words, 6 letters in total that have really made me think what life is about. It’s as simple as ‘look up’.....
Is that it? I’ve read all of this for ‘look up’? Well yes that is it. These two words hold so much more meaning in our modern day lives than ever before. Think about it. All the technology I mentioned earlier drives us to look down and become consumed. It is slowly making us a lot more unsociable as a species. Isn’t that ironic how social media might actually be making us more unsocial. Anyway, my point is that if we all take some time everyday, to simply ‘look up’ and take in the world around us, it might just do us all the world of good. This could come in many forms. Why not set a goal to have an hour a day where you don’t use any technology? Go for a walk, talk to your family, spend some time outdoors. We will get so much more benefit from this time than we even realise. Just remember to ‘look up’, and I am sure we will all be surprised about what we see.
A guest entry from Harry Pankhurst, Chartered Physiotherapist, and Property Investor. Harry states: I am a great believer in having a positive outlook on life and I am constantly working on trying to better myself as a person.
Why Bother being present?
There is so much talk about the benefit of being present in the moment.. at the moment… and I think it’s fair to say that if we asked ourselves, “would we like to be more present in the moment?” we would say yes… but why? What do we want?
Quite often when we say we want to be more present in the moment we unsurprisingly often think about good moments.. beautiful moments, sunsets, walks on the beach, conversations with people we love...
Its possible we may rarely think.. “you know where I want to be more present? Difficult moments…” But the cost of not and the rewards of being present still apply to these moments too.. in fact… could it be just as important to be present when situations are difficult and unpleasant?
OK so if you are not present what happens.. well you miss out on things, and NO ONE likes missing out on things… SO if we are not present… where are we?
Caught up in Thought
Regardless of the type of situation, we could get caught up in our thoughts and prejudgments about ourselves, about other people, about ‘last time’ or similar situations we have been in before or anything relatable. This however, would mean that we are not seeing what is in front of us. We are spending time wrestling with these thoughts, trying to disprove them, make them go away.
“Don’t say that you will look stupid”…”Don’t say anything stupid” “They don’t like me”….”Last time I was here X happened”…. “I’ll never make anyone laugh like they can…” “I don’t like them anyway” “I have to get out of here..” “ooo a text..” “better check Insta”…
Why does this happen? Our minds are very good at amplifying pain and discomfort in the pursuit of protecting us. They don’t want us to experience the potential, inevitable pain of the world. They want to keep us safe! it is our old ancient cave-person instincts of avoiding potentially threatening situations. But what feels good in the short term, the ‘relief’ from a potentially uncomfortable thought, can have long term implications… we miss out…
So what do we miss out on? We miss out on the opportunity to do what matters to us. If we are spending our energy getting caught up in all these unpleasant thoughts based upon past experiences, future worries, rules and judgments we are missing out on connecting with what really matters to us right now.
Imagine if we could truly see what was going on around us. A true awareness of what we are engaged in and what is going on right here right now. This is one of the most powerful choice making tools you can have. This awareness means allowing these potentially difficult thoughts to have less impact on us, giving us an opportunity to in this moment check in with what really matters and take action in that direction. So there it is… one of the number one benefits of being in the present…
So we can actively choose what we do next based on what really matters.