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I want to tell you a story of how I learned how to seize the moment and live in the now. This completely changed my life.
When I was 21 years old, I was fortunate by the charity of others, to attend a leadership conference in Raleigh, NC. After one of the sessions, one of the coaches came up to me and had a conversation with me that I will never forget. He was questioning me about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to accomplish in the future. He asked me what the David in the future looked like to me. The way he talked, walked, dressed. I described my vision of the David in the future and I also told him about individuals in history that I aspired to be like. People that I hoped the future David would live like.
I will never forget what he said to me after I described this future person to him. He looked at me and said:
“Well then why don’t you be that person now.”
That answer shook me to my core. He asked me what I was waiting for. That if I want to be that person in the future, I need to be that person now.
We often describe being in the now as this idea that we will get to at some point. That one day when we get that promotion, then we will start behaving a certain way. That when we move to the place we want to live, then we will start acting more happy and more ambitious. When we arrive at a certain financial state in life, then we will start to be a different person.
This mindset does not work. It does not make sense. Because all you have is right now. You do not know if tomorrow will present itself to you. This is not something I say flippantly. We hear about death every day. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Life is fragile.
You may not get another moment to be you.
You may not get another moment to engage with the person beside you. You many not get another moment to achieve something that you have been dreaming of achieving. Why not grab on to the opportunity that you get when you wake up to a new day and be the person that you aspire to be now.
When I was trying to become a manager at my previous job, I immediately started dressing and behaving like a manager dressed and behaved. I started talking with people as if I was already a manager. I wore a suit and tie. I shook people’s hands with authority. I walked into the room as if I was in charge. I become a manager before I actually was one. By owning that I had it in me to be a manager and started to behave as if I were one, that position came to me quickly. I caused it to happen by being who I thought I should be. Who I envisioned myself being.
Are you behaving like the person that you believe that you want to be in the future?
Are you behaving like your future self? Are you living as the person you respect in the future? Are you doing it right now? Because right now is all you have.
Once you make that mindshift that now is the time to be the person you aspire to be, the next step is seizing every moment that presents itself to you. This is so important to grasp and to act on. You have to seize the opportunities that you come across in life.
Say that you own a business, and there is a client that you would dream of working with. You hear that they are going to be in Virginia at a conference for a week. This is just a few hours away from you. If you are living in the now, you will recognize that you may never get this chance again. Rather than waiting for the moment to happen, you seize it. You take advantage of the opportunity, and you put forth the effort to go meet that person. All you have is now, so if you do not take full advantage of your present moments, you may never get the opportunity again.
When you are truly living in the now, you will do everything in your power to make that meeting happen.
You will run after the opportunity and make the most out of it. You will figure out how to meet with your dream client and you won’t look back.
Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” You do not have tomorrow to be that change. You do not have yesterday. All you have is now. Stop procrastinating. Stop licking your wounds and making excuses. All you are doing is wasting time. BE who you wish to be TODAY.
You can be better. You can do more. Seize this moment in front of you, because you may not get another one.
- David L. Joyner and the Joyner Media & Strategies Team
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