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How to Stay Present

By: Brian Kim - March 10, 2011

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We hear it all the time.

Stay in the now.

Stay present.

Focus on the now.

It’s wise advice but lacking a few things, mainly two things.

Why.

How.

The usual spiel about staying present is that the past doesn’t exist, nor does the future. All we have is the now so that’s where our attention should be.

That’s good and fluffy but it’s not a good enough reason as to WHY we should do it nor do they give any advice on how to do it.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to stay present. It’s important to cover this because even though the how is outlined, why bother doing it unless you have good reasons?

By staying present, you develop focus, concentration, you’re better able to discipline your mind, especially when it goes into worst case scenario mode, it’s a great defense against future worries or past regrets, you maximize the full benefit of the present, nothing gets lost when you’re completely aware of what you’re doing ,you get things done, you simultaneously create the future you desire by focusing and working on the present, you avoid procrastination, you appreciate and absorb fully what this moment has to offer and you invariably becomes a person who takes action.

Lots of good reasons to stay present.

So how do you do it?

First off, here’s the reason why most people don’t think they can do it. Here’s what’s going through their head.

How the heck do I stay present for all the thousands of hours in the future? It’s too hard. I have so much trouble staying present now that I can’t imagine doing it all the time in the future.

And the key here is that those thousands of hours don’t exist.

Get that weight lifted off your shoulders.

You only have to be present now.

And that’s the only thing you can do. You can’t stay present in the future. It doesn’t work like that. I can’t ask you to roll a boulder uphill in the future right now so why let being present in the future bother you because it can’t be done as well.

Let that weight lift off your shoulders.

Just focus and stay present now.

Do what’s in front of you.

You only have to be present now.

That’s all you can do.

Yes your mind will drift.

Yes you’ll suck at it.

Yes you’ll think you can’t do it but like everything else, keep at it and it becomes habit.

And when it becomes habit, that’s how you’ll stay present because if you’re always in the habit of staying present, you’ll always stay present. Deceptively simple and it throws the whole “It’s too hard to be present all the time” excuse out the window.

You don’t have to be present all the time.

Just be present now.

And then you’ll be present all the time.

By being present now, you’ll start experiencing all the benefits it has to offer like the benefits we discussed before. That will help you to consistently do it so as to experience those benefits again and in exponential terms. When that happens, all you’ll want to do is stay present. It will be habit.

And then you’ll find yourself being present all the time.

And yes, there is a time to reminisce in the past. There is a time to contemplate the future.

But not too long.

Our attention should be in the present.

Everything we do should be for purposes of the future.

But bring your thoughts back at what’s in front of you.

And resolve to do it to the best of your ability.

Stay present.

Stay focused.

And the future you desire will soon become the present.

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