The Present is all we've got!
Do you often find yourself dwelling in the past for hours? You keep wondering why that person said that to you or did that to you. You keep wondering why it had to happen with you after all that you have been doing for them. It could be your personal or professional life, but such anxious memories keep haunting us, don’t they?
The same goes for future as well right? The moment we see some news or a memo in the office we keep wondering how it will impact our growth. If it will be helping us or is it going to slow us down? The moment we see a social media story or read a chat about someone we know is doing better than us in his / her life, found some new way of doing things, we again get anxious right? We keep wondering, “oh boy, how could he do it better? How come he is becoming more successful than me. I have to do something fast, I have to beat him in the race, I have to be better than him, what can I do… what can I do … what can I do”; and by doing all this how many precious hours we lose? How many neurons that are a part of our best side of the brain get wasted in the anxiety of the past or the future?
This is preciously called “Analysis – Paralysis” or “Overthinking”. It’s an instant killer of your productivity. It’s perfect recipe for procrastination.
Do we ever consider if we would have spend that time creating something that we love, completely focused on making the moments we have now to count, maybe spending those precious moments with love, compassion, affection and help to the ones near & dear to us – like in our family or friend group, what would we have achieved? Yes, we would have come one step closer to our goal. We would have completed one more task in our “to-do” list. We would have been more productive than before. More efficient than before. More lovable than before. More helpful than before. More joyful than before!
It’s absolutely natural that the animal side of our brain called the “amygdala” will keep dragging us into the Past as it creates some kind of doubt and fear. It will also drag us to the future based on the information we receive from news channels and the internet or the people around for the same reason – Doubt and Fear. You know why?
Because the job of that animal brain is quite simply to protect us, to keep us ready to fight or fright for situations of doubt and fear, but never to create something new, to think differently, to analyze wisely and come out with innovative & smart solutions.
The good news there is another part of the brain called the “telencephalon” that I call the “Angel Brain”, it fires up millions of neurons to focus on the task in hand, it can create wonders, it can solve the most complex problems in our lives and it can give us tremendous amounts of positive emotions like “fulfillment”, “happiness”, “love”, “affection”, “kindness”, “joy” and “peace”, however, it does so only and only when we consciously allow it to.
The question is how do we allow it to to stay focused on the present and create wonders for us and people around us?
How do we engage this Angel brain to guide us and therefore the organization we belong to take the wisest decisions?
It all starts with a simple “belief”.
As long as you believe that the past is nothing but lessons to guide you and the future is nothing but a better version of yourself to be able to achieve something awesome in life – your vision, then you would be successfully bypassing the animal brain and allowing your angel brain to work.
My childhood friend ran away with my money with a promise to bring me business when I was starting my entrepreneurship journey – it was a lesson.
I lost my mother to a complicated heart surgery that drained me out of all my savings because I was lured by the doctor who was NOT a specialist in that operation but had found a way to convince me with his jackal words or fancy five star hotel setup – it was a lesson.
My personal relationship sucks and slows down my growth to become my better version every day in and day out – I have a vision to have a life where I will have peace with all my relationships!
Climatic changes are bringing havoc to the world we know and will bring more and more disasters – I have a vision to make this world a sustainable place anyway I can and do my bit diligently.
I used to spend hours in days and nights overthinking, fearing, doubting on myself and others, what will happen… what will happen… what if this, what if that – useless wastages considering what wonders I created with my creative side when NOT over-thinking about them, considering how many people I helped to grow in their career / business when NOT over-thinking about them, considering how many lovely moments I spent with my kid and wife when NOT overthinking about the relationship huddles or the pains one of them caused to me!
The angel brain will only work when the animal brain is NOT working!
Remember, it is impossible for even the monks NOT to feel anxious (read the book A Force of Good by Daniel Goleman that describes the real thoughts and feelings of Dalai Lama himself !), but your believe will let your angel brain activated.
Your inner voice will change, the voice will say “it’s just a lesson – move on smartly” or “it’s a vision – move on to achieve it” or “anything can happen to anyone at any point of time, what really matters is what best can you do now, now and now only!”
While the doers may afford to dwell in the past, as a Leader You Can’t Afford to! You are in charge of the positive change, you are in charge of the progressive outcome, you are in charge of your tribe, your growth is an outcome of their growth. Therefore, you MUST NOT OVERTHINK AND TAKE THE PRESENT AS THE BEST PRESENT (GIFT) YOU’VE GOT IN LIFE!
If this deep learning made sense to you, I would like to know your thoughts. Please do leave a reply below. I will be reading each one of your comments and get encouraged to share deeper insights in the future.
Best Wishes Always!
Srimaya Mahapatra | Mindfulness Coach
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