Following the Federal election and its relentless focus on the future of Australia I thought it might be timely to share a recent opinion written by Jackie Meyers, one of the group editors in our Australian Community Media family. I hope you find it as refreshing as I did.
Vanessa Arundale - Acting Group Editor - New England North West.
We all have dreams, goals and ambitions. It is what drives us forward. It is also a large part of what motivates us each day.
Without a doubt achieving those goals, dreams and ambitions is incredibly rewarding.
But I can't help wondering if too often we are so focused on our targets for the future that we fail to enjoy and appreciate what is happening 'right now.'
I will admit that I ask this question because I have realised just how much my time is spent setting budgets, planning future activities, writing and crossing off lists of things to do for a future goal.
It is not that I am not happy in the moment, but too often I am not appreciating the present time.
I was recently on a couple of week's annual leave. I didn't go anywhere exotic - I stayed at home. My daily adventures included catching up on things around the house, gardening, doing lunch with my adult children, baking, reading books, doing some crafts and catching up with friends - including one who is suffering a serious illness. In fact that friend is why this message hit home for me.
It was pure relaxed joy and totally rewarding as I did many things that I hadn't done for some time. Quite often I did things on a whim, no planning at all, which was a surprise for this control freak who always has a plan.
I was truly enjoying the moment - the 'right now.'
As I returned to work I also returned to a more rigid schedule - setting targets, making job lists for the work day, and factoring in the out-of-work chores - cooking, cleaning etc - so that I stayed on top of things and ultimately reached my goals.
However it quickly occurred to me that I'd jumped back on the hamster wheel of routine motivated by a future target.
Now don't get me wrong that focus on goals is a good thing, but I reminded myself that I also needed to pay attention to the 'right now.' If I was on a holiday road trip with a destination goal in a sunny location I would still take the time to appreciate the journey. I realised it was an attitude I needed to apply to every day life.
At that point I stopped myself, looked around, looked at what I was doing and prompted myself to be present in the moment. I also noted that even if what I was doing in the present wasn't particularly enjoyable or exciting I could focus on the positives - a lesson learned, a sense of achievement or the chance to help someone else, for example.
So what are you doing right now? You may be surprised at what can be experienced, and enjoyed, when you are present in the moment.
Make the most of every day.
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