Our reality is heavily biased by our memories, even those that are long gone.
Since leaving Italy, about 20 years ago, I must have visited my homeland an average of once per year. The last time I was in Italy was about 2 years ago.
On my way here for this Christmas break, I was excited to see my family and friends and the prospect of the exciting conversations ahead of me.
As the conversations begun I started experiencing a powerful and totally unexpected split in my consciousness. On one side there was the “wow, nothing has changed” reality, and on the other the “wow, so much has happened in the last two years”; two very contrasting realities and yet each powerfully present in my mind shouting to let me know that it was the real one.
Which one was it?
As I reflected I realised the time-space continuum had warped.
It is as if I pressed Pause on my life’s VCR (you need to be of a certain age to know what this is ;-) ) 20 years ago, and only pressed Record every time I came back to visit. My tape only advanced a few minutes and my friends’ stories with it. But in fact life seen from my friends’ eyes was a VCR running continuously and recording all the tiniest details.
It reminded me of Einstein’s Twin Paradox. Time slowed almost to a stand still for me while away, and it run at normal speed for my friends.
Why may this be relevant?
It is a reminder that right here and now is the place where life actually happens…not in the past, not in the future, not in our memories…right here and now!!!
As leaders, we assess our future goals and often avoid spending at least as much time to understand where we are now. We therefore chart a course of action, only to stumble upon obstacles we did not see.
As partners, we enter relationships with expectations we carry from our past and become surprised when we “wake up” and notice the stark differences. The equivalent of waking up one morning next to your spouse of 20 years and asking yourself “who’s this person? I don’t know you anymore!”
These 3 simple steps will help you stay awake to the moments when life is happening and see your friends, families and partners as the evolving beings they are.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes everyday and reconnect with right here and now
At the end of each day list the 3 positive things that happened… no matter how small they are
Ask at least one meaningful question to at least one meaningful person around you every day
Happy 2016 everyone!
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