The intro of this article sums it all up. Centering your mind and focusing on NOW isn’t some hokey, spiritual fluff. It’s an exercise in concentration.
By focusing your mind and keeping everything present, you’ll see things in a whole new light, feel more optimistic, and truly live in one of the best gifts life has to offer, which is the present.
Here’s a great article to get you started on this. It outlines 10 steps you can start right away on how to cultivate this new habit, or rather the NOW habit.
We all need something to anchor ourselves. Something to give us certainty and happiness through the ups and downs in life. A compass point to give the day direction and prevent feeling meaningless and letting disorientation creep in.
Some people use relationships, status or religion as that anchor. I believe the best one of all is simply the now. Cultivating a habit to focus on what is, not what might be or what was, is a happy way to live. Relationships can end, status can fail and religion can delude, but the now is a constant.
The Now Habit From Concept to Practice
I don’t believe centering on the now is just a fuzzy spiritual practice. The actual habit is just an exercise in focus. By redirecting your attention towards what you are currently doing, feeling or experiencing you can get more done while removing fears and stresses from life.
Here are ten steps to help cultivate the now habit:
1. Remove resistance.
Stop resisting what is. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, you are stuck in a traffic jam. You can’t center yourself in the now if you don’t accept it. Even if you are in a situation you don’t like or intend to change, accept it as part of your current reality.
2. Find rose-smelling moments.
Give yourself a few moments to smell the roses each day. Stopping your routine, even for only thirty seconds, and grounding yourself in what is around you can have a calming effect.
Most people don’t do this unless captured by something magnificent. But even simple parts of life deserve a chance at reflection. Spend fifteen seconds to see how the light bounces off the edge of a glass. Or look at the pattern of clouds in an overcast sky. Just a small investment can make you feel more centered for the rest of your day.
3. Experience what you are doing.
Here’s a big one. Actually experience what you are doing. This might sound bizarre, but how often do you eat a meal without really tasting the food? Listen to music without noticing the notes? Talk to your spouse without really listening?
If you are going to do something, engage with it. Try to isolate specific flavors in your sandwich. Notice the different instruments in a piece of music you’ve heard thousands of time. Empathize with a friend who is talking to you.
Whether you choose to experience something or not doesn’t matter for productivity. It takes the same amount of time for me to really taste a bowl of soup than just slurping it down. But by choosing to focus on your current task you can draw far more enjoyment and peace from it.