If you have ever applied for a job, you couldn’t avoid spotting positive thinking or positive mindset in the list of requirements. We all accept that having a positive outlook on life helps when it comes to facing everyday challenges even though we might not know precisely how positive thinking works.
I am no Yoda or a Jedi Master for that matter, but when it comes to being in the now, I definitely am more than just a padawan. Being in the now is not easy, I have been practising it and developing my skills in that field for many years and still learn about myself.
What is so special about being in the now? Why the fuss?
If you catch yourself dipping in your perceived past failures or getting lost in the ‘what if this or that happens tomorrow’ labyrinth, you have already lost your connection to the present; you stopped being in the now. It may just be a matter of seconds, and your mind starts drifting toward the sea of what was or what could be. From that point on, you don’t think about solutions anymore; you stop being creative. Instead, you create illusions for yourself and make yourself believe those illusions are real.
Being creative and being able to see clearly what resources you have available is essential for managing your life and making sure you stand victorious in the face of adversities. You will face challenges, we all do.
Being in the now means that you are free from illusions, it means that you see life for what it is and live it when it happens. You don’t miss opportunities and don’t run from the difficulties either. The latter may not sound so good, I know.
So, how can one accomplish being in the now? I have a couple of tips for you.
Yep, you heard me well. Whenever you feel anxious about tomorrow, breathe in and breathe out, slowly.
Be conscious of your thoughts
They can act like funny little elves and cause trouble in your mind in no time. Be aware that you are not your thoughts, be mindful that you have power over your thoughts and you and only you can teach them how to behave.
Spend less time judging
It may sound a bit harsh, and you may think you are not judgmental, I am not saying you are. I mean that we all spend a significant amount of time setting expectations. We want things around us to happen in specific ways. We visualise things happening in particular ways. While I do believe in the power of visualisation, expectations make things harder.
Stop overthinking your performance
Don’t stop adding or creating value and don’t stop being demanding when it comes to the quality of your work. However, stop freaking out about your performance and how others see your performance or how certain things look.
Walk with your eyes open.
Have you ever had a walk in the park and had no idea whether the leaves on the trees were green or amber? I bet you were so deep in your own thoughts that you forgot to enjoy the nature around you. The very nature which could have instantly lift you up.
Being in the now also means that you dedicate time to connect with your surroundings. I love taking long walks in London. I love the buildings, the architecture and the people.
If something is bothering you, accept it.
Not the thing that bothers you. Accept that it exists. Accept that it found its way to your mind and started to dance around in there like your mind was its very own ballroom.
Once you acknowledge the existence of a problem that bothers you, you give yourself a chance to think about solutions and bang; you are in creative mode again.
More importantly, enjoy every single day because you only live once. Well according to some theories.
People in your environment can drag you down in many ways. You may remember your mom telling you that your friend was trouble and you should have known better than hanging out with him or her.
Truth to be told, being with friends who always look for and find trouble is not the only way to be dragged down.
And why you are the best person to improve it
Some believe that self-awareness is the most important skill when it comes to building a successful professional career and others may tell you that self-awareness is somewhat superficial, and you need to have a solid education and professional skills to make it in the world of work.
I read an article a couple of years ago about research that found biological evidence which proved there are negative and positive people in the world. It sounded interesting. At least I found it interesting because I have always believed that I have a choice of following a positive or a negative mindset.
Some grow up in a family where setting goals is a natural part of kids’ lives from their early age, while other parents let their kids discover the way of planning their life and tasks on their own. One method may work as good as the other.
We bring many habits and beliefs from our childhood, but it would be a mistake to believe that only those beliefs influence us, even at later stages in our lives. There are good practices we can learn from women who already made it.
Let’s see a couple of examples:
Plan your life as you would plan a project in your work.
When you are working on a project in your job, you need to plan resources, assess risks, consider limitations and make sure the project is going to deliver the benefits you or your stakeholders expect.
- Why would you accept anything less?
- Why would you care any less when it comes to your life?
If you think about your career as a journey from the “Where have you been” through the “Where you are at the moment” on your way to the “Where you should be”, you are going to focus on what positions, tasks, experiences and skills take you there. And that is precisely the focus you need.
Fear not to say no
Over your lifetime many opportunities will come your way. Some will look particularly great, while others you need to let go.
You heard the word “no” many times in your life but when it comes to saying it to someone else, especially to a person who may be able to influence how your career develops, saying no might not be the most natural thing to do. We are all inclined to say yes now and then; when we should say no.
Think about it that way, every time you say yes when you should say no, you take time and opportunity away from yourself. Every time you say no you create space for something that works for you better.
Work with mentors
Setting goals is easy when you have a clear idea of what you want and a sense of purpose, but it becomes slightly fuzzy when you are not sure what direction to take. If you are in this situation right now, just know that you are not alone. Many people, at some point in their lives, will reach a turning point when they realise they have to change their ways.
Our parents or grandparents had probably worked for the same company for decades, while changes these days are constant in the majority of business sectors; and professionals need to adopt new practices more often than not. Whenever a change, affecting your career progress happens, it also creates an opportunity to think about your life overall.
In the middle of changes and the daily grind, your ability to see the bigger picture is different, and it is advised that you find a mentor who either had a similar situation in her or his life or has already achieved what you want to accomplish.
And ways how you can avoid that.
Making a couple of good moves may be easy but repeating success poses a series of whole new challenges. Looking at all those successful people around you may make you wonder whether you are on the right track.
When thinking about the career path to take, you must consider your academic qualifications, the compensation you are seeking, and the future job outlook for your chosen career. Most people forget your personality is always a consideration. It is very important for you to consider whether you are an introvert or an extrovert when thinking about choosing a career path. This will get you a career that fits and one in which you will not only be comfortable but also excel
Have you ever set out to achieve something, big or small, and you hear a voice in your head telling you how terribly you will fail? Or do you sometimes think you are not good enough and you just cannot do it? Many people have had an experience with this voice. It is self-doubt. This taunting voice beats you into a corner when you want to stand up to the high winds of challenges in life. All it does is criticise you and make you feel worthless.
Here is a wonderful and inspiring video to remind us how beautiful winter is and how great things we can experience.