“That jeering friend is the regret demon of the past and the fear demon of the future combined.”
Now. The world of a two year old. As that two year gets older, the Now world takes on an eerie quality. Something to be avoided. How can I distract myself from this present moment? From Now? Give me another tool with which to avoid being in the Now. Being with the Now. Why do we dread it? What harm does it hold? How does running away from it help? ‘Now’ seems pretty complex. It is one of the things many of us struggle with. One of the things we mostly try not to think about. Try not to do.
Somehow, it is where the past and future meet. When we sit with the Now, we are with a jeering friend. A friend who knows us so well. Knows all our past. Knows all our future fears. That jeering friend is now, however, the Now. That jeering friend is the regret demon of the past and the fear demon of the future combined. Is Now a friend? How can we recognize it as a friend? A best friend? A friend who wants our best?
What are the benefits of being with our best friend Now? Will it make me happier? Have a better life? Have less stress? How can I realize that most problems are in the future, not in the Now? For an organization, how can being with the Now help?
What are four ways which may help me be more with the Now?
We could consider becoming more aware in the Now. Becoming aware of what we are thinking. Of how we feel. Becoming an observer to our thoughts. To our emotions. And then observing the observer.
We could embrace the paradox. The paradox of how can I be with the Now, when the past keeps visiting me and thoughts about the future create a constant, sometimes murmuring sometimes thunderous, noise in my head?
We could make decisions that are appropriate for us and our organizations, Right Now. Right in this moment.
We could understand the Source of the Now. What constitutes an enjoyable-Now and an unenjoyable-Now? How can I have more enjoyable-Now’s?
Wisdom Tool Number One: Become Aware in The Now
Now. Take a moment to become aware. How am I feeling? How is my physical body? How is my posture? Am I feeling strong and vital? Where in my body am I feeling stress? Where in my body am I feeling light and happy? How is my mind? What is in it? An enlivening thought? A thought that drags me down? The Now Model™ can help to become aware of how you are feeling right now, on all levels. This helps to be in the present moment, with the Now. Observe your thoughts. Observe the observer. Be in the Now.
Take the Good Now Model™. I feel good Now because in this moment, I am experiencing good relationships, I serve a good purpose, I am in a good environment and I am in good health.
The Healthy Now Model™. I feel healthy Now because in this moment, I am experiencing healthy relationships, I maintain healthy exercise, I am in a healthy environment and I have a healthy lifestyle.
“With that clarity, what can you do right Now to support its prosperity?”
Take the pulse of the organization. Shut off your mind for a moment. Intuitively, how do you really think the organization is doing? Intuitively, you know what is holding parts of it back. Intuitively, you know what parts are supporting it to positively move forward. With that clarity, what can you do right Now to support its prosperity?
The Prosperous Now Model™. The organization feel prosperous because in this moment, it is adequately resourced, it has a healthy client flow, it has a positive bottom line and is functioning optimally.
Wisdom Tool Number Two: Become Aware of Right Now
Sometimes, we can struggle with making a decision. What can help is to get with the Right Now. Ask yourself: Is this good for me Right Now? Using the words ‘Right Now’ helps to give clarity, eliminate some of the noise and make a fair coherent decision in the moment. Saying no or saying yes.
“Choose the one that is appropriate for you and the circumstance Right Now.”
There are many options of things to do. There are ‘good’ things you can do for others. There are a myriad of avenues to take in each moment. Choose the one that is appropriate for you and the circumstance Right Now.
In an organization, the past and future vying for our attention. A myriad of stakeholders are clamoring to have their say, their opinion. Do any of those stakeholders have the full overview of the organization? Does anyone have the full overview of the organization? Knowing what you know right now, with whatever facts you have, without being able to tell the future, what is the appropriate decision for the organization Right Now?
Wisdom Tool Number Three: Embrace the Paradox
How can we be with the Now while we continuously strive to make our lives better in the future. Is this a contradiction? Is this a paradox? How can we combine the two in a way that contributes positively to our life? How can our best friend, Now, support us to develop the future we desire? Is it possible to be with Now while planning our future?
“The future may seem in opposition only when we are not doing something to create the future we want in the present moment, in the Now.”
Take a moment. Envisage something you would love to have. That was a Now moment imagining something in the future. Now brainstorm about all the ways you could obtain that item or experience. You are brainstorming in the Now. Next, choose something to take action on, in the Now, that brings you closer to obtaining it.
“The past is a series of Now’s. The future is a series of Now’s. Embracing the Now’s now, embraces the Now’s of the future.”
Maybe they are not a paradox, maybe they go hand-in-hand. The future may seem in opposition only when we are not doing something to create the future we want in the present moment, in the Now. Allow the Now to create the future you want.
The past is a series of Now’s. The future is a series of Now’s. Embracing the Now’s now, embraces the Now’s of the future.
How do we incorporate this Now-ness into the mindset and development of an organization. It is one thing taking this on as an individual: embracing the Now to enhance self-governance. How can this enhanced self-governance lead to enhanced organizational governance? How can an entity, an organization, be with the Now? Do the same rules apply i.e the past is a series of Now’s. The future is a series of Now’s. Embracing the Now’s now, embraces the Now’s of the future.
“If the future is a series of Now’s, and we are wise in our decisions and actions in the Now, what are we worried about?”
Is that what sustainability is about? Making wise decisions Now with the long-term interest of the organization in mind. Taking wise actions Now. Creating a plan in the Now, fully present to that plan, fully embracing the vision of the future. And while being aware of all those hundreds of steps to take them one at a time, in the Now of the moment. What if this approach could create a clarity and a level of simplicity? If the future is a series of Now’s, and we are wise in our decisions and actions in the Now, what are we worried about?
Wisdom Tool Number Four: Become Aware of the Source of the Now
Now. How are you feeling? Are you experiencing an enjoyable-Now or an unenjoyable-Now? Have you ever noticed that recalling past enjoyable-Nows is a pleasure, while recalling past unenjoyable-Nows is more onto a regret. I note the irony in asking a question about past enjoyable-Nows but for a moment, think of a good memory, a good Now which happened in the past. What were the factors contributing to the enjoyable-Now? Were they moments when you chose to do what you did? When you took ownership for what was happening? When you felt courageous? What are your top three values? Were you experiencing those values in that Now? For example, a feeling of independence, adventure, freedom?
“If past Nows were not enjoyable, why would you want to risk being present with now-Nows?”
Now, recall a past unenjoyable-Now. Was it driven by someone else’s agenda? Was it someone else’s choice? Did you feel pushed into a corner? How did it feel in that unenjoyable-Now moment? What percentage of past enjoyable Nows and what percentage of unenjoyable-Nows pass through your mind each day?
If the percentage of unenjoyable-Nows is higher, it may have led to you shunning away from the Now, the Now in the present moment. If past Nows were not enjoyable, why would you want to risk being present with now-Nows? If the experiences were driven by other people, other peoples choices, other peoples values and the result was an unenjoyable-Now, then it would make sense that we turn away from the Now. We choose not to be in the Now, because it is not ours, it is someone else’s. We lose practice being in the Now because we haven’t taken ownership of it, as ours.
“Enjoyable-Nows seem to stem from the Source of the Now.”
If the percentage of enjoyable-Nows is higher, it gives a motivation to experience more enjoyable-Nows, now. A sense of recognition. Yes, that was my choice, those were my values. I took healthy ownership of my choices and my actions in that situation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wouldn’t you want more of those enjoyable-Nows?
What can we learn from these past enjoyable and unenjoyable-Nows? Being in the present moment, Now? Enjoyable-Nows seem to stem from the Source of the Now. Is it my choice to do what I am doing? Do I know my top-three values? Am I living out those top-three values in this moment? Do I take ownership for this moment, in a healthy way?
How can I stop shunning away from the Now? How can I stop running away from it? How can I stop adding layers of distraction in order not to be with the Now? How can I increase the amount of time I spend with the Now? How can I increase the amount of time I spend with enjoyable-Nows?
I can become aware of my values and try to live by them as much as possible. I can take healthy ownership of my choices, decisions and associated actions. The past demons and the future fears will visit from time to time. Let them, look them in the face and ask them what they have come to teach you. Then become focused, once again, on your values, your ownership, your enjoyable-Now.
“How can being in the Now support an organization to be less complex, more stable, where everyone feels a clarity and a sureness about what they are doing?”
In an organization, what are the things that lead to complexity and a sense of unclarity. It is delving in the past? Worrying about the future? How can being in the Now support an organization to be less complex, more stable, where everyone feels a clarity and a sureness about what they are doing? What are the values of the organization? Is the organization living by its values? Does everyone know what they are? Do the stakeholders know how to live by them? Do they want to? Is senior leadership taking a healthy ownership of the organization? Is that healthy ownership felt by everyone in the organization and outside the organization? How are stakeholders empowered to take healthy ownership in each moment?
Being with the Now may not be easy. The past and future vying for our attention. Being with the Now can be less stressful than being in the past or the future.
Observe your thoughts. Observe the observer. Be in the Now.
Make decisions in light of Right Now.
Realize the future is a series of Now’s.
Increase the enjoyable-Nows.
“Good self-governance leads to good organizational governance.”
To further explore how you can access your innate wisdom, to better live with the Now, leading to enhanced self-governance and organizational governance, schedule a coaching conversation with Siobhán.
Drop a note to email@example.com to set something up.