Loosely translated, “in the moment,” means to give something or someone your complete and undivided attention.
It implies being firmly focused on the here and now, being fully engaged in the task or situation at hand.
And according to professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Finding Flow, it’s this kind of, “Complete absorption in what one is doing that’s been shown to play a significant role in one’s overall well-being.”
Cool, but now for the moment, let’s suppose that you don’t particularly like what you’re doing.
What if, let's say from the hours of ohhh, nine to five, five days a week, you’re up to your effing earlobes in some mind-numbing life sucking activity smack dab in the middle of Dullsville?
Call me a skeptic, but I’m pretty certain that given this situation the furthest thing from your mind would be becoming completely absorbed in what you’re doing.
I’m betting the last place you’d want to be is…in the moment.
In his book, Help Yourself: Finding Hope, Courage and Happiness, Dave Pelzer writes:
"Prisoners of war who have endured years of extreme torture and solitude have long applied techniques of detaching themselves from their negative circumstances. In one particular case I studied a surviving American officer who built an entire house in his head. He began by formulating a blueprint in his mind. Next he laid the foundation, built the frame, visualized every beam and every window, and then imagined himself placing the exact furniture in every room.”
Granted, this may be an overly dramatic case and point, however it does demonstrate just how effective ꟷ and just how powerful removing oneself from the present moment and/or situation can be.
Deepak Chopra, author of some 80 books, including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, takes a slightly different position.
“Acceptance,” he asserts, “is accepting that this moment is as it should be, and when you struggle against it you’re actually struggling against the entire universe.”
Point taken, then again I’m not suggesting you struggle against the present moment or your current situation.
I’m simply saying that if and when the opportunity presents itself you step away for a second.
Theoretically speaking of course.
After all, like Deepak himself puts it:
“Changing your perception can change your reality.”
Do I get the whole acceptance thing? I do.
I’m also fully aware of the infinite advantages of being present in the moment.
But when where you are and where you’d like to be are poles apart then take it from an old pro, a little daydreaming can work wonders.
“I’m the kid who has a habit of dreaming, and it gets me in trouble sometimes too, but the truth is I could no more stop dreaming than I could make them all come true” … Art Garfunkel
“Daydreams,” explains author Amy Fries, “are much more than wishful thinking or some time-squandering activity. Visionaries of every sort, including Einstein, Mozart and Walt Disney (who first came up with the idea for a theme park while idly watching his daughters ride by on a merry-go-round) credit daydreams for creating conditions ripe for moments of insight to blossom.”
She goes on by saying, “And the real beauty of daydreaming is that it’s a process available to every one of us.”
In other words, it’s user friendly.
So, if you happen to find yourself down in the dumps in Dullsville I for one strongly urge you to allocate your attention elsewhere.
Why in the hell dwell in the moment if the moment in question sucks?
Accept it for what it is, deal with it the best you can.
But if there’s somewhere else you’d rather be or something else you’d rather be doing then hoist your head up into the clouds and start laying the foundation to your own castles in the air.
"Imagination is everything," said Albert Einstein. "It is the preview to life’s coming attractions,”
And what better way to get a sneak peek at what could be waiting around the corner than to quietly close your eyes and visualize it?
And frankly, what better time to do so than right now.
Here, in the present moment?
See you soon. till then, keeep it up.