Hold On Tight

Aug 12, 2011 by

Hold On Tight

I saw this Google ad at the San Francisco airport. It said:

Let go of old attachments”

I’m not sure how much more of a sign I need than a billboard from Google saying “stop holding on so tight to your outcome.” But I figured that is enough of a clue that I should pay attention, sit up, and listen.

Why do we hold on so tight to our imagined future or our dreamy past? Why is it so hard to live in the moment. That’s NOT to say not to think about and plan for the future, or remember the fond experiences of the past: It IS to say that we consistently live in the past or the future and rarely experience the amazing joy that is right now.

The Buddhist’s say that living without conclusions requires courage. That living without attachments to the outcome is terribly frightening. That our monkey minds keep spinning to force us to avoid the present moment.

My language is more tactical. I say: “you can’t make $1 Million” or “you can’t lose 10 lbs.”  It means that

The ends are not something you are in control of

Read that again, it’s important to get into your gut: “The ends are not something you are in control of.” … ever .. you only get this moment to work with.

If you knew how to make the money or drop the weight, you would have already done it.  What you can do is in the present moment.  In this moment you CAN call your customers, provide amazing value and the $$$ will appear.  In this moment you CAN eat healthy and exercise and you will lose weight.

Buddhist’s say our monkey minds use the dreams of the past to ensure our Ego’s existence since the past requires thought and language in our minds so we craft stories to fit our needs (this is a fundamental flaw with eyewitness testimony, see The Invisible Gorilla). So we relive moments in our heads all around what we dream we did.

Buddhist’s say our monkey minds use the illusions of future plans to ensure our Ego’s ongoing existence since planning for a future that is probably unrealistically off target requires thought and language in our minds.

So here’s my question: “How much of your mind’s energy do you spend in the past or the future?  How much of today’s journey are you missing by being in your head?”  I know for me, I spend the vast majority of my time looking and thinking about the top of the mountain so I never pay attention to the steps that are getting me there.  So try, just for a day, to keep yourself centered.  Pay attention to this moment.  The keys on your keyboard, the glow of the monitor, the way the chair feels on your butt.  You’ll be amazed at how freeing right now can be.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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