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Habits vs. Being Present

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Few weeks ago, I wrote about habits and being present in the moment. What I have come to realize is that sometimes habits prevent us from being present.

“A habit is something you can do without thinking — which is why most of us have so many of them.” —Frank A. Clark

Think about how many times you have driven from home to work and back. Can you tell me what you notice? How fast were you going? How many lights you stopped at? The drive has become a habit; we don’t notice these things. Habits cause us to run on autopilot; sometimes that is good, other times it is not.

Being present requires you to pay attention in the moment. If you are present while driving, you will notice the road, the traffic around you, the lights you stop at. You are fully aware.

What else are you doing on autopilot? Something simple as breathing may require you to be in the moment, you may need to pay attention to it. When you exercise, is your breathing heavy or shallow? Are you out of breath or can you go harder? All this requires you to be present. Another example is conversations: Are you paying attention, or just providing canned responses? When you ask, “How are you?” are you paying attention to the answer or just moving on? Don’t get me wrong, having a routine or habit is good, but paying attention to moment while achieving the routine is invaluable.

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” —Thomas S. Monson

Have a great weekend.


About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)

I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.

Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!