I woke up this morning to a sunrise of astonishing beauty, so I walked out the front door to experience it. And as I stood in the yard gazing up at the pink, orange and blue sky, my heart sung and ached at the same time.
Instinctively, I wanted to share this breathtaking moment with Angel and Mac, but they were still asleep, and that troubled me. I felt a bit down and incomplete, without being able to share this special moment with them, or with anyone. The most beautiful sunrise I’d ever seen was slipping through my fingers.
I considered running into the house to grab a camera so I could at least show Angel and Mac a photo of the moment that they missed, but I caught myself and took a deep breath.
I then acknowledged that there was something else I needed to do instead: I needed to let this moment be enough, without anything more – without needing the moment to be shared or photographed or uploaded online.
So I gazed back up at the sky, and told myself out loud, “This moment is enough, Marc. This moment is enough just as it is.”
Truly, there was no good reason for me to feel otherwise. And I’m glad I came to my senses.
Of course, I know I’m not alone in this feeling – that the beautiful moments of our lives need to be shared, or photographed, or uploaded online to be complete. It’s half the reason social media is so prevalent in our lives today.
Too often we feel like the good moments of our lives aren’t good enough unless we somehow capture, share, and solidify them as a semi-permanent fixture in our lives.
Or we feel like the moments of our lives just aren’t good enough at all. So we choose to distract ourselves with gadgets and TV shows 24/7 just to stimulate ourselves. It’s like second nature to us – we’re so used to feeling like the present moment isn’t worthy of our full presence!
And this mindset of dissatisfaction and distraction – of reality never being enough for us – trickles into every facet of our lives…
- We are continuously thinking about what’s to come, as if it’s not enough to appreciate what we have right now.
- We sit down to relax for a moment and then immediately feel the urge to read something on our phones, check social media, or text someone, as if relaxing for a moment isn’t enough.
- We procrastinate when it’s time to work, choosing more distractions, as if the process of doing good work isn’t enough for us.
- We get annoyed with people when they fail to live up to our expectations, as if the reality of who they are isn’t enough for us.
- We resist changes in our lives, in our relationships, and in our careers, because the reality feels like it’s not enough.
- We reject situations, people, and even ourselves, because we feel like none of it is enough for us right now.
But what if we accepted this moment, and everything and everyone in it, as exactly enough?
What if we accepted that this moment is slipping away right now, and saw the fleeting time we have within this moment as enough, without needing to share it or capture it or alter it in any way?
Think about it…
This moment is enough.
What if we started acting like it?
7 Mantras for Making the Best of the Present Moment
Like I mentioned above, I often forget to pause and appreciate the present moment for what it is. So I’ve implemented a simple strategy to support the practice of doing so. In a nutshell, I proactively remind myself…
- “This moment is enough.”
- “This situation is enough”
- “These people are enough.”
- “I am enough.”
And anytime I catch myself thinking otherwise, I pause and read the following mantras to myself (I keep them on a folded paper in my wallet). Then I take a deep breath, and bring my focus and appreciation back to the present…
- If you worry too much about what could be, and what might have been, you will ignore and overlook the beauty of what is. Right now is life. Don’t miss it.
- Let go of everything else, and just remind yourself how fortunate you are to be experiencing this moment right here, right now. The more you appreciate it, the better it’ll be. (Angel and I discuss this further in the “Happiness” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Stop rushing. Breathe. Be where you are. You’re where you’re supposed to be at this very moment. Every step and experience is necessary.
- The richest human being isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs less to be happy. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more in this moment.
- Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being great. And no one is great all the time. Do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.
- Don’t compare your progress with that of others. We all need our own time to travel our own distance. Focus on your daily rituals. Focus on the step you are taking right now. That is enough. (Angel and I build tiny, powerful daily rituals with our students in the “Goals & Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.)
- Be present. There are few joys in life that equal a genuine conversation, a genuine story, a genuine perspective, a genuine laugh, a genuine hug, or a genuine friend, right now.
So let’s revisit a question I presented above:
- What if you accepted this moment, and everything and everyone in it, as exactly enough?
How might doing so change your life?