In the world of personal development 'be present' is the new 'be confident'. You hear 'be present' repeated by everyone from self help gurus, yoga instructors, public speaking coaches to pickup artists and comedians. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and even Dual N-Back training help can help you practice being present but this article is going to focus on the intersection of being present, body language and situational awareness and how they can be practiced by gamifying your reality.
On a simple level, 'be present' means that your thoughts are focused on the here and now as opposed to in the past or future.
The Problem: If you spend the majority of your mental energy planning for the future or analyzing the past, it's difficult to transition to focusing on the present. While planning for the future and analyzing the past are very important, I'm going to do a bad job of executing on future goals or more importantly enjoying the life I'm working so damn hard for or if my mind is stuck in the past or future. Have you ever found that you couldn't stop worrying about something that happened at work or thinking about the future when you should have been enjoying yourself with friends or family? This is a failure in being present. I'm also going to do a bad job at maintaining high situational awareness if my mind is perpetually pondering the past or future.
Like most ambitious, busy lifehackers my day to day thoughts are probably focused:
- Future 50%
- Present 20%
- Past 30%