We can easily cloud our present decisions with issues we bring in from the past and concerns about the future. Realising our life and career opportunities requires us to be present here and now.
I see a very common situation in business. Before a conversation, a meeting or a presentation begins, the room is clouded by the history between the participants. The parties to the discussion aren’t really ready to listen and engage. They have come to filter the discussion through their expectations of the others. Nothing productive can come from a fixed mindset in a world of rapid change. I’ve seen opportunities thrown away because people couldn’t overcome their history.
At the other end of the spectrum, people often lose opportunities because they are a paralysed by choices in uncertainty. The future is unknowable. You can manage risks, but risk and uncertainty should not be an excuse for delay or inaction. We need to decide now based on what we know now. If the world reveals more later, then we adapt.
We are all more productive when we are truly in the moment examining each moment for what it is and what it offers. When we are present we can listen and explore what we are being offered. We can pick up the clues on what is not said. Most importantly we can make choices based on today, not yesterday or tomorrow.
We only get one chance to use each moment. If we use this moment to replay the past or foreshadow the future we lose our chance to interact, to learn and to adapt. The best future comes to those who use each moment as best they can.