It’s true that being in the now has its benefits. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever been in the zone and experienced flow while doing something. You’ll know that in the zone is where you reach your optimum performance. Out of simple and effortless doing come our best results.
Professional athletes know this. Next time that you watch an NBA game, pay close attention to how a player shoots a free-throw. Notice how they follow a ritual. Every player follows a slightly different routine but each one is looking to centre themselves and get into the zone as quickly as possible before shooting. They know that when they are in the now, there are no thoughts involved – and hence no interruptions. Just pure being. It’s from that state that they perform their best.
In spite of this, even Eckhart Tolle, the author of the Power of Now, admits that the future is important.* That same NBA player would not be so eager to score that point if he did not have a sense of the consequence of his actions. He knows that his shot counts toward something bigger. And he knows that to reach that something bigger, he must mind the small things – like making that single free-throw, out of the hundreds that he shoots during a game.
The concept of having something larger to work towards and minding the small things transcends into our own work lives. Setting five-year goals for your career will give you something bigger to work toward. Having long-term goals works like a magnet. Goals will guide each and every moment of your life and infuse your day with a reason for being. At that point it will make perfect sense for you to pay attention to the small things.
Set goals and just watch what happens. Notice how your perspective on things changes. I’d love to know.
*Click here to watch Eckhart speak about the power of now
Cool photo? Thanks flickr