Results. It is all about getting things done. So we push and push. We are so focused on the next meeting and the reaching the next milestone, that we begin to treat our own needs and other people as obstacles. We keep telling ourselves that the time to relax and enjoy life is coming on the weekend, on vacation, when we retire…
This deferred life plan has become so widely accepted and commonly practiced that we have forgotten that we made it up. This approach to life is not written on a stone tablet handed down from the heavens. It is not an unavoidable consequence of having human DNA. This way of living is a practice that we have chosen.
The survival portion of the human brain can convince us that just about any situation is a threat to our livelihood. When we get caught in this emotional illusion, then we are off and running — shoving aside anything and anyone in our way — or we are frozen in hopes that the threat will go away. Either way, the result is that we let circumstances dictate our quality of life.
Another practice is to stop repeatedly during your day, bring your attention to the present, take a breath, and connect with the type of experience and relationships that really matter to you. This practice can transform any moment. Done consistently, this practice can transform your entire life. This is not magic, it is biology. Your behavior shapes your brain and your brain shapes the world you experience.
Rather that defer the life you want until circumstances are more conducive, you can use any situation to practice connecting to what is most important and treating yourself and others with kindness. This is not a philosophy, it is a concrete and effective practice. What are you practicing right now?