So, with all the hype surrounding “mindfulness” is mindfulness the one thing that can bring you happiness?
What exactly is “mindfulness” anyway? The dictionary defines it as a “mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Translated, that means being fully present in the moment. So, what’s the big deal about being 100% in the present moment?
Have you ever been excited about taking a vacation, or attending some special upcoming event? You can’t wait to leave! You dream of how much fun you’ll have when you get there and how many different things you’ll be doing! You can “see” yourself there – in detail!
So, the really good thing about your mind is that it actually can visualize every little detail so vividly that you can’t tell if you’ve actually dreamed it or actually experienced it!
Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real you knew it actually happened? Maybe you had an experience that you think happened, but as time passed you’re not really sure if it actually happened or you just remember it that way!
The interesting thing about all these experiences is the mind is basically capable of creating anything! Are you interested in creating an alternative environment? Your mind says, “I’ll get right on that for you!” and poof, you’ve got yourself an alien landscape!
Napoleon Hill, one of my favorite authors of all time states, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”
So, as humans, we are 100% capable of creating whatever type of environment we choose and we can choose to live in that environment 100%!
So, I’m leaving the house in my car. It’s the weekend. I’m thinking about something else, and my mind is actually driving me to work even though I’m not actually going to work! My body is on auto-pilot, my mind is at my friend’s house! This is a great example of not being 100% in the moment! Oops! My mind took a short vacation and instead of my mind focusing 100% on the present moment driving the car to a friend’s house, I was driving myself to work!
This is a great example of what happens when my mind travels into the future or the past instead of staying focused in the present! What did I miss? Where was I supposed to turn? Where am I??
If you take this mini example and expand on the theme, you could actually live every moment somewhere else in your mind – in the past or the future – and still be physically here in the present. Many of us do exactly that! Some of us have had bad things happen so we live our entire lives living in the past looking through the rear-view mirror. Some of us see a better life in another place and time and live their entire lives looking forward.
So, if you concentrate on being present 100% in the moment what will that get you? How do you do it?
First off, I think of my mind as a fishing rod. Yes, it is an unlikely image, but it works! My mind is constantly out there looking, collecting, assimilating images and ideas every moment. It’s like I’ve cast out my reel and I’m reeling in “stuff” all day!
I think of one thing, then another, then another and on it goes! At some point in time I have to go “Whoa!” That’s enough and reel the line back in before it gets away from me – which it can get away from me fast – at warp speed – then I reel it back in!
If I can keep my mind focused on the here-and-now I can get the most done, because I can only do one thing at a time and the present moment is the only place I can take action! Yep! I can’t do anything in the past or the future. All my choices have to be made right now! There is 100% power in the present moment and that’s all I’ve got! The ability to make choices in the now!
Never thought about it that way? You should! It’s called the power of the present moment! The common denominator is – if you’re looking forward or backward – you’re missing out on whatever you’re supposed to be experiencing right now, here in the present moment. It’s just like the quote says, “Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present!”
So, what about that happiness thing you talked about? If you understand and embrace the idea that right now is your most powerful moment, and you can take action in the present moment, you can make better choices and better choices equal a happier human! So, in my book, mindfulness, when you take action doing what you need to be doing in the present moment – equals happiness because you have the power to be happy in every moment! It’s 100% up to you what you choose – every moment – every day! The power of choice is 100% completely yours – right now – to have or be whatever you want.
So, if you’ve been thinking about doing something, put your mind to it, yes, right now in the present moment where you have the power! As Napoleon Hill states, “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right!” Embrace the present and live mindfully 100% in the present moment. You’ll thank me later!