5 Simple Ways to Practice Being Present Even Busy Leaders Can Try

Being present is getting there by being here.

You aren’t present when one eye watches the clock. You’re absent when you intimidate with position or power. When you try to impress someone a pretend-self has displaced the real you. Continually checking your phone means you aren’t here.

You avoid being present when you procrastinate or avoid someone in the hall or nurture hurt feelings.

The enemies of being present intend for you to live but miss life.

Being present is getting there by being here. Image of a person walking on a plank path.

5 simple ways to practice being present:

#1. Show up with an intention.

Before your next meeting clarify one intention. “I’m in this meeting to ____________ (fill in the blank).” When the goal is simply to get something done, you are absent. What’s your intention when answering email? Responding to complaints?

Stop rushing.

#2. Do what you are doing.

Forget about missing out. FOMO is the reason you miss out. Persistent dissatisfaction indicates you live in a wished-for world, not the one you’re in.

#3. Listen.

If you love a challenge, try challenging yourself to listen.

  1. Listen to learn.
  2. Listen without fixing.
  3. Listen to let yourself be changed.
Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. Image of three giraffes.

#4. Leave your phone in your car.

The next time you show up for something, show up empty handed. Do your best to minimize beeps, buzzes, and notifications.

I’ve started turning my computer off a few times a day. I don’t put it to sleep. I kill it.

#5. Create rituals.

Re-center yourself several times a day.

When someone shows up for a one-on-one say, “Let me put my phone in the drawer.” In the morning, center yourself by choosing an intention for the day.

Bonus: Do things that matter.

Appreciate the things you do that matter to you. Don’t waste life on trivialities.

What can you do today to practice being present?

Still curious:

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4 Ways to Make 2018 the Best Year of Your Life

How to Focus a Wandering Mind

How to Defeat Distraction and Heighten Satisfaction