Sunday, May 8, 2011

Living in the moment

In my last post, I talked a bit about taking responsibility for whatever you do and how it can free you to live in the 'now'.

Over the last couple days, I rebuilt a deck.  I did not particularly want to do it, as I don't have a lot of extra time in my life right now and it took me away from other pursuits I enjoy.  It's also hard work.  Now, I could have wasted time before hand thinking how I didn't want to do it.  And I could have spent the time doing it concentrating on how I wanted it to be over so I could do other things.  Instead, I tried to live in the moment.  What I found was surprising.

Sure, it was still hard work, but that's ok, it's good for you.  I also realized how great the weather was.  Ripping up boards, using a sledge hammer, prying up nails, replacing rotting wood with straight good smelling wood, and seeing the tangible progress became strangely satisfying.  I started to enjoy figuring out how to get into a rhythm, how to get faster and smoother in my technique, how to use less effort to accomplish more and so on.  I enjoyed and was present in the moment.

And yes, the parallels to martial arts study are not lost on me.  This same mindset should be applied to training.  What I found interesting was that just by thinking about being present in the moment, I was.  My mind drifted off from time to time but overall I enjoyed the day.

I may just be on to something...


  1. That is a great point of view. How many times have I put something off, only to do it and find out that doing it was what I needed most! A great flip to change a looming problem into a positive event.

  2. Thanks, I'm going to keep trying to use this concept in other areas of my life. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Being present in the moment - that's something I really need to work on for my grading. You've just shown how so much more can be achieved if you just stay in the moment. Thanks

  4. Nice post.

    This past weekend I attended an excellent seminar. The day before the seminar I was feeling time pressure. It was a three hour drive (one way) to an all day seminar. I kept thinking about all the things I needed to do at home and would not be able to get done.

    In order to enjoy the seminar, I knew I had to change my outlook. I needed to be in the present moment. It was a good day and I am glad I went to the seminar.

  5. Sue,

    Thanks, it's surprisingly easy to do, but it's real easy to get distracted. I imagine the more we practice at being in the moment, the less we'll slip back into old habits.


    I'm all too familiar with the time pressure. I had a day recently when I had to go out of town. The scheduling got all messed up and a half dozen other things. I left late and it was very stressful. Part way into the trip, I reminded myself to just enjoy the moment. The weather was nice, I put the windows down, took some country roads instead of main ones and enjoyed the drive. I arrived surprisingly refreshed. Glad you enjoyed the seminar.

  6. Sue and Michele,

    Thanks for commenting. I lost my original responses but hopefully it helps for your grading, Sue. And I'm happy you enjoyed the seminar, Michele. It's surprising how changing your outlook can change your experience.