Being Present

"What's the first thing you do when you get out of a meeting or a class? When you're walking between conference rooms? When you're waiting in line? These in-between moments used to be opportunities to pause and reflect. Now, we eagerly jump into the communication stream, tuning in to the world instead of tuning in to ourselves." -Scott Belsky

I'm in the process of reading Managing Your Day-To-Day, a book that aims to help readers build routine, find their focus, and sharpen their creative minds. The book features excerpts from business and creative leaders, all well-known in their respective fields.

My favorite excerpt so far is written by Scott Belsky, co-founder and head of Behance, an online platform for creatives. He writes about being present. Belsky states, "Today's challenge is to keep your focus and preserve the sanctity of mind required to create, and to ultimately make an impact in what matters most to you. This can only happen when you capitalize on the here and now."

He lists four practices to remain present:

1. Be aware of the cost of connection. If your focus is always on others - and quenching your appetite for information and external validation - you will miss out on the opportunity to mine the potential of your own mind.

2. Recognize when you're tuning in to the stream for the wrong reasons. We often look to our devices for a sense of reassurance. Become more aware of the insecurity that pulls you away from the present. You cannot imagine what will be if you are constantly concerned with what already is.

3. Create windows of non-stimulation in your day. Make this time sacred and use it to focus on a separate list of two or three things that are important to you over the long term. Use this time to think, to digest what you've learned, and to plan. 

4. Listen to your gut as much as you listen to others. With all the new sources of communication and amplification, don't let yourself be persuaded by the volume of the masses. Nothing should resonate more loudly than your own intuition.