The gift of Presence.

Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead.
Ryan Holiday
The Obstacle is the Way.

Humans are the most intelligent creatures on the planet. Some of you might disagree and show proof. Ok, we are not always smart, but we have the capacity for great intelligence. And yet, too often we get in our own way. Every one of us has problems, issues to face, obstacles to overcome. Every one of us. No one is exempt. It is universal. Are our problems different, yes. But the one thing that is the same the world around are obstacles in our life. 

 

Sometimes we feel like Sisyphus, forever pushing the rock uphill, believing we get to the top, only to realize there is more to go.

The difference most people experience is HOW we handle obstacles. We have a way of making things bigger than they need to be. We analyze, over-analyze, talk through all the scenarios and try to figure out what it all means so we can make the best choice moving forward with life, relationships, and business. 

It makes me wonder if this processing is a sophisticated procrastination. Have we forgotten to take one day at a time, to live in the present? Living in the past of analyzing and the future of ‘what if’ is easier. There are so many hypotheticals and ultimately there are no choices that need to be made. 

If we over-analyze the past (I’m not talking about reviewing mistakes to learn from them), we can remain in state of indecision because we cannot change the past. It is easy to live in the past. And the ‘what if’ of the future is theoretical. There are scenarios and options that need to play out to get the result we want. 

 

The past and the future are easy to live in. Sure, we experience regret of the past and anxiety about the future, but there are books, coaches, and resources to distract us. Living in the past and future allows us to ignore the present. 

 

That is the real problem, too often we do not choose to live in the present. We spend a lot of our day on Social media, which is about experiencing the past. It is watching what others have already done. 

The remedy… Live in the present. Easy words to write. Simple words to live by; but simple does not mean it is easy. Living in the present takes work. Being present with your family, friends, colleagues requires effort and energy. For some, it will require discipline to stay present.

Here are some ways to practice being in the present moment: go for a walk (without a digital device), exercise, discover a hobby, get coffee with a friend and talk about what you are up to today. Any of these and other activities will hold you in the present moment. After all, this moment is all that matters. You cannot change the past, and you have little control over tomorrow, but right now. That is yours; and it is a gift. The gift of being present.

How Samwise influenced MicroShift

The Lord of the Rings series are some of my favorite movies to watch. The characters are well developed, and the action sequences are fun to watch. There are big battle scenes and moments of compassion. If you are not familiar with the series, the main character, Frodo, is on a grand quest to destroy the Ruling Ring to defeat evil and people can live in peace and with freedom.

There are times Frodo is unsure where to go or what to do. What Frodo does not realize is he has a guide. Not Gandalf. He’s a mentor. It’s Samwise Gamgee. Sam is there for Frodo, challenges him, laughs, and cries with him. Throughout the journey, Sam makes it clear to Frodo, this is his quest.

One of the goals for a fiction novel or movie is that we can see ourselves in the story, generally as the main character, the hero. While we do not battle with Orcs, we often encounter struggle, setback, conflict, and decisions that must be made in order to move forward.

The MicroShift philosophy was born out of the idea that small changes done regularly will lead to big results. Too often leaders like you want big, bold, instant change. In the short term, this can have success, but for long term, lasting change in your life, there is another way. The journey is longer and sometimes it does not feel worth the struggle.

Frodo did not always understand he had the strength in him. At times, he felt like a fraud. That’s when Sam would encourage and challenge Frodo to take the next step or do the next task and challenge his held beliefs so Frodo could successfully complete the journey.

What I know about success is the more you have, the more you can feel like you don’t fit. Can I tell you a secret? If you feel like a fraud or that you don’t fit, that means you are normal. Who is your Sam? Who encourages and challenges you?

While I have had success as a leader, Frodo has never connected with me. When I watch the movies, I watch through the eyes of Samwise Gamgee. Encouraging, challenging, getting dirty with the Frodo’s in my life. It’s what I love to do.

My name is Jason and I help leaders find freedom and insights of growth using inquiry based coaching. I can be your Samwise. One step at a time, one change at a time.

Who is your Samwise Gamgee?