Awareness is actually very easy to develop. All you have to do is stop worrying about the past, don’t anticipate a future that hasn’t occurred yet and stay focused on your thoughts and actions in this very moment.
OUCH! That may seem next to impossible for many people.
The reason is conditioning. Most people, especially many who own a small business, are so consumed by the past and future that they miss the beauty of every moment they are actually living.
Think about that for a moment. Whenever you are stuck and thinking about anything except right now, this moment, you are truly missing the richness of every “now” you are actually living.
This moment is all that you can control. The past flavors your actions today with the wisdom of experience and your future is created by the thoughts and actions you take right now. What kind of future are you creating today?
Recondition your thinking by simply catching yourself slipping into the familiar patterns of past or future thinking.
Catching yourself is easier than you might think. It just takes awareness of what you are thinking in any given moment.
Take this article for example. You are reading it, probably thinking about something you
have to do, wish you did, or are putting off for some future “better” time.
What about your thoughts right now, as you read this?
STOP for a moment and consider what you are thinking as you read these words. Write down any ideas that you will apply to your life.
When you interrupt your old thought patterns with a big bold STOP, you are conditioning your mind to listen to your true desires and not run rampant on its own, creating confusion, stress and overwhelm. 3-fun things you can do to develop greater awareness (sitting on a rock and humming is NOT required).
1. Play a round of golf. Notice what you are thinking about between shots, as you hover over the ball anticipating your next shot, or as you line up a putt. It is probably focused on what already happened or what will/may happen.
STOP, catch yourself, focus on the feeling you’ll have when you make a great shot, then take the shot. For every poor shot you hit, be aware of your actual thoughts. I’ll bet those past and future thoughts of success and perceived failure crept in there.
2. Sit quietly with a pen and paper and write down anything that comes to mind in the moment you are sitting there.
If you start thinking about a past or future STOP, re-frame, and focus on right now.
When you are just sitting peacefully and not thinking of anything except right now, what thoughts do you have? Write them down, then read and reflect on them.
3. Go into nature with a camera. No need for anything more than a point and shoot model. Don’t look for the obvious sweeping vistas. Instead look for tiny little miracles all around you, like the way the sunlight plays off of a flower, the way a rock sits in a stream, the beauty of the bark on a tree, or the miracle of a blade of grass.
Notice things you seldom allow yourself to see and take a photo of them. What did you notice that you have overlooked before? How did that make you feel? Write down your feelings as you review the photos you took. Take the awareness you gained in the exercises above and apply them to your life in business.
When you are getting ready to launch a new marketing campaign or create a new sales push how do you feel? Are you focused on results of the past or future or are you experiencing how great you’ll feel when your campaign succeeds?
Remember the great golf shot. Didn't you make your best shots when you envisioned the outcome you really wanted?
When you are stuck with a business problem do you panic and scramble for answers or are you calmly analyzing the situation; allowing your mind to peacefully explore and find new ideas that solve old challenges?
Remember how great it felt to relax and explore your feelings and thoughts in a given moment.
How about when are looking for new ways to grow your revenues. Are you aware only of the obvious sweeping vistas?
Remember the small miracles that you discovered simply by looking for them.
Awareness is a state of mind. It is focused on right here and now, instead of a past or a future.
The creative mind is aware of everything. It’s your past/future panic thoughts that comes in to block the beauty of this moment; keeping you stuck in the realm of confusion instead of open to the beauty of your personal genius in this beautiful NOW.