How to learn to live in the PRESENT

Why stop at one hour? Why can't we add another one to the self-control became our structure throughout the day?

In any situation we can live in one of the three dimensions: past, present, or future. When we present a pitiful sight in a boring meeting, we do one of two things, and both bad.

1. We plunge into the past with longing and regret remembering all the previous boring meetings, at which we were present.

2. We think about the future, in vain wasting time, toiling impatience or building false assumptions about what will happen. When we know we have to pass the test, even if we pretend, then force ourselves to live in the present. We are alert, aware and attentive to their behavior as to the behavior of others, because we feel that in the near future we will have to answer for their actions.

The present must be perfect. Here we create ourselves and become better. We can't do this in the past, it's gone. We can't do that in the future that are only in our head, because we people have not yet appeared. We can do this now.

Turning everyday issues into hourly creates a different structure in order to live in the present.

Came to me Griffin with the problem. Griffin lived in new York, but owned a house on a lake in new Hampshire, where for 10 years he and his wife made friends with some neighbors, permanent residents of New England. In rare cases, when the neighbors from new Hampshire, came to Manhattan, Griffin offered them to stay at his mansion in the Upper West side.

Three children, Griffin grew up and left home, so they have enough space to leave it on overnight guests without any problems. Griffin liked to be a gracious host, until something unforeseen happened. Here is his story.

In new Hampshire we communicate a lot with the neighbors. So behave all living at the lake. And we were very happy to see them in new York. They are not quite New England, not citizens, and are rare in new York. But after we stopped the third pair, we are already tired to show them the countryside, repeating the same route attractions: the statue of Liberty, the memorial of September 11, MOMA and the natural history Museum. We walked on the high line, SOHO and Brooklyn, watched musicals, ate at fancy restaurants. New York is our home, and we go to a Broadway show or to the Museum whenever we want to, not because we are in a big city a couple of days and we need to have time to see everything. I became angry with our last guests: not so much to stop to consider them friends, but enough that it was noticed by my wife.

The next pair was going to come to the Griffin for three days, and he was worried that if this visit is delayed, it will spoil the impression, betraying her true feelings. (In other words, the enormous efforts that he will have to invest to restrain themselves, will lead to exhaustion, and it, in turn, to failure.)

His distressed situation he himself had created. The longer guests remain, the more polite the invitation, which he extended, seemed an invasion of privacy. His situation is not so different from the prospect of terrible meetings. How to turn the circumstances that you come to dread into a positive experience?

Griffin was disciplined in the estimates themselves, and believed in daily issues.

"Turn daily issues into hourly — advised me. — When are you visiting new Hampshire friends, have a few of questions are about how you holding up every hour."

"Just one question,' he replied. — Do I try to do everything possible to enjoy the company of friends?"

When the guests walked in the door, Griffin was ready for it. His hourly question gave him a structure to control their behavior and self-control. And now, when its pushed in a trendy pizzeria in Bushwick or advancing on foot in line at the American natural history Museum (for the third time in six months), he got the vibrator from his smartphone.

Griffin set it up at the end of each hour, and that reminded him to ask himself a simple question: "am I Trying to do everything possible to enjoy the company of friends?" It lasted all day. He could either take the test or flunk it. Here is his report on the ten-hour journey through new York.

I prepared for the marathon. I tried to keep the pace and was initially full of energy, and at the finish was barely standing on his feet. Hourly questions had to save me. After three or four hours I became stronger. The phone vibrated, I evaluate their behavior, congratulating himself that all is well, and continued in the same spirit. By the end of the day I was supposed to reach the handle, I turned on "autopilot". It was a wonderful day.


The unfolding of your story seems to defy the concept of exhaustion. However, it is very revealing. Pending hourly matters Griffin remained nothing how to enjoy the situation (otherwise he would have flunked your test!). And grumpy himself fell from the structure. Griffin didn't need harsh self-control, and exhaustion did not come.

When we decide to behave well and our first steps are successful, we often reach fulfillment Griffin called it "autopilot" when we don't need to stretch.

This is reminiscent of the first four days of a strict diet: if we are able to cope with the first steps, will be able to suppress undesirable impulses, the less likely to crack. We don't want to lose profits from our investment in their behavior. Good behavior becomes an investment that we want to recoup.

Could it be this simple? Yes. The simpler the structure, the higher the probability that it will survive. And hourly questions is also very simple: they contain a series of steps which so imperceptibly into one another that we hardly distinguish them.

1. Pregassona

Successful people are usually good at foreseeing circumstances where their conduct may be under threat. They rarely fall into the trap in heavy negotiations, horrible meetings, in a difficult confrontation. They know what you're getting into, before you enter the room. For lack of a better term I call this feeling predsoznanie. Such people remind me of the athletes who are still in the locker room mentally preparing to enter the field, which helps them to clearly see the situation.

2. Involvement

Successful people are true masters of action. Choice of hourly questions as the structure and verbalization of specific problems — a tool of motivation, which is clearly better than hope that all will work itself out. This is the difference between the intended target and record on paper.

3. Awareness

We are particularly vulnerable to the whims of the environment, when to ignore its impact on us. Hourly questions invade our minds with enviable regularity, eliminate ignorance and force us to be constantly alert. We don't have time to forget about our situation or to escape from, because the next test will be in an hour.

4. Rating

Appreciating their efforts, we add awareness. This method "manually" to strengthen the consciousness. It's one thing to work alone, and quite another under close surveillance. We are better aware of our actions when we are being watched and judged, — only now we do it ourselves.

5. Repetition

The best part of hourly — rate tasks "rinse and repeat". If we got a bad grade in a single time interval, we have a chance to improve in an hour. In fact, we give ourselves a second try.

Hourly questions have specific short-term action. It would be impractical, tedious and harmful to rely on them long term task of changing patterns of behavior, such as creating the reputation of a good man. Despite a clear understanding of the task to "become good", daily and weekly checks are more than enough for business, which provides persistence and constancy. You respond to your daily questions each evening and gradually reap the fruits of their efforts.

It's not as easy as changing your religion. You play the long game. Hourly questions for blocparty when you need strict discipline to restrain impulses within a certain time.

It is appropriate to recall two universal situation.

There is a depressing event is not just a boring meeting, or uninvited guests, and any situation in which wakes up our pessimism and inadvertently provokes negative behavior. This may be feigned friendship for a corporate party; or a stressful celebration in the circle of a large number of relatives; or unpleasant parent meeting at school.

If we come back without much of a plan, which helps us to control myself and to control their words and actions, our pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we create inconveniences that they themselves predicted. Hourly questions — a type of structure that will help to cope with that pessimism. It is our choice.

And then there are people knocked us out of the rut their behavior. For example, a colleague with a high annoying voice, employee technical support, which repeats the same useless response in six different options; a pompous know-it-all in school Council; man at the supermarket who stood before you in the queue for those who have less than ten products, and much more.

We met such people. But they still frustrate us. In short moments when we are vulnerable to the stupidity and stubbornness of other human beings, hourly questions will help us regain equanimity.

But here's the irony: I don't rely on hourly matters, when you get a difficult situation or dealing with annoying people. The challenge for me can be a event, which I look forward to, and people whose company I enjoy.

Consider, for example, the prospect of dinner at an exclusive restaurant with ten of my favorite customers. A few will be afraid of such an event, and I'm not one of them. My problem is immoderate pleasure and appetite control. In such circumstances, I need to stay away from the temptations that lie before me on the table (and I'm not alone in this). But in a fun atmosphere, with wonderful people, I even more vulnerable.

The situation is as if specially urged me to refuse to abuse everything. All this happens at the end of the day, at the peak of fatigue. The abundance of food and drink is tempting. All around in a cheerful mood that warms my fun and further undermines self-control. Life is good, I tell myself, so why not enjoy the moment and leave the regret for later? This is for me an explosive environment. I become living proof that we need help in those moments when we are least likely to receive it.

Here the effective hourly questions. I know that is particularly vulnerable in these situations, so we arm structure that you can think of. I tell myself that I will not have this stunning dessert. Sometimes I have made a Covenant with the person that sits beside you: neither one of us will not succumb to the temptation of dessert.

Sometimes I feel like Odysseus, who plugged the ears of his sailors, and asked the waiters not to serve me if I try to order dessert. But the most important structural element remains the same: I'm testing myself every hour using the question "do I Try to do everything possible to enjoy the company of people and not food?"

I don't always set myself the highest mark. Sometimes I eat dessert. But I don't forget to test yourself every hour and it reminds me that I'm not the unconscious victim of the environment. No matter what I do, it is my conscious choice. Even when I set myself a mediocre rating, the awareness is "pure profit."

The more I rely on this kind of testing yourself in dangerous situations, the more clearly understand their environment until it becomes a full part of my identity. This is a meaningful and permanent change that I can live.published


See also: We GET ALL on the personal dignity of making Friends with your fear: IT is more IMPORTANT than You think


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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