Being Fully Present

calm office desk

Dear modern-day worker

What if we all slowed down?

I know the demands are significant, and the world can feel crazy, but what if your world, your immediate world, your universe within, didn’t need to feel that way?

So often, we’re living stretched and stressed,
overwhelmed while underwhelmed,
detached and over-attached,
And yet we keep pushing the pace - upon one another and ultimately ourselves.

Is any of this relatable?

We keep trying to do it all. Chronically anxious, preoccupied, frazzled, and doling out our attention fractionally. All the while, we’re misunderstanding one another, misreading opportunities, and missing out on the wonderful and profound human beings right in front of us.

I’ve spent far too much of my life in this reactive and unconscious state of mind. My family would attest to this being a long, hard-fought journey for me.

I’ve been trying to steer towards a new direction in the way I approach life and work.

One of my real-life superheroes is Rick Tobias, former lead of Yonge Street Mission. He once shared how there would be long lines for social services at their community centre, and yet returning clients would rarely complain. This was because clients knew that when it was their turn, they too would be receiving the same undivided attention and full care that the person in front of them was getting. I’m certain Rick had many demands, but I never saw him hurried or rushed.

I’d like to live in a world where we can openly acknowledge constraints. Where we create the space to gather our thoughts and bring our full selves to a task. Or where we can look a request in the eye and say, ‘Not right now’.

Could you check your email hourly and respond to everything that comes your way? Possibly. But it would come at a cost.

Yes, you have real obligations to your clients, colleagues, and community, but my bet is that those you’re serving also want you to do so at your best. Your well-being matters.

You shouldn’t need permission or a rationale to tend to yourself.
To take a pause.
To slow down.
To not respond right away.
Not because you don’t care, but because you do care. Because you care deeply about those you serve and the way you show up.

What would it look like to practice Greg McKeown’s philosophy of ‘less but better’ in your life?

What would it look like to set not only expectations for how quickly you engage but also a new standard for the quality and depth of your interactions?

Choosing to be fully present is a revolutionary act.

Spread the love