Evaluating our past efforts and planning for the future are important activities for growth and change, but we must not become so focused on looking back and planning forward that we are not seeing and appreciating the present. Each moment is a gift that we cannot relive. Centering our attention on what is happening now and being aware of how we feel and are impacting others will deepen our connection and enrich our experience in this world. We must avoid the urge to mentally time travel to escape our restless minds. Everything we need to move forward is always with us.
While our lives are very different, one common experience we share is the precious time in the morning when we transition from unconscious sleep to conscious awareness. Sometimes we want to pull the covers over our heads and retreat back into dreamy oblivion and others we fling our feet on the floor and charge off excited to tackle the challenges of the day. But, if rather than reacting to these early inclinations, we pause and consider what we are feeling, we will better understand and appreciate ourselves and the choices we have made and need to make to achieve our goals.
We should view our challenges as gifts rather than foes to battle against or obstacles to overcome. In this way, they serve to strengthen and test us to determine if we deserve our dreams. We must be willing to put in the work, navigate the distractions, and deal with the stress that come with pursuing what is most important to us. Taking the time to unwrap each challenge and understand what there is to learn and why it is in our path breathes space into the situation and dissolves the challenges, allowing us to see clearly and move forward.
Should I or shouldn’t I? Free will both blesses and curses us with this question every day in a myriad of ways. Some are trivial decisions, such as whether or not to hit the snooze again or have another slice of pie. But others, like whether to accept a job offer or a wedding proposal, significantly impact our lives. The greater the decision, the more we deliberate. We weigh the pros and cons, seek advice from trusted counsel, and sometimes just toss aside caution and reason and trust our guts. But uncertainty is probably a sign we are not ready to decide. When we are truly committed, all other paths disappear and we embark.