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Have you ever had a conversation with someone who looks at their watch or over your shoulder while you speak?
Or have you visited a store near closing hours and experienced them vacuuming or cleaning around you while you shop?
Or booked a meeting with someone who shows up late then leaves early because someone, seemingly more important, awaits?
Chris Powell, the Transformation Specialist on Extreme Makeover, instills in his weight-loss candidates, what he calls, “integrity” to themselves regarding their workout commitments.
What he describes is that if you say you’re going to do 20 minutes on the tread mill, then doing 19 minutes and 43 seconds is copping out. You committed to 20 minutes. Do 20 minutes – ALL IN.
In doing that you’re honoring your word to yourself and giving 100% of your focus and attention to the most important task at that time – your 20-minute workout – and the most important person, you.
When we share focus, i.e. are physically present in one place and emotionally present somewhere else, two things happen:
1. We miss the entire experience the current situation offers
2. We hint to the person we’re with (and yes, that could be you) that something or someone else is more important.
The disregard can be subconscious and unintentional but the effect can be damaging.
Let me use the store example.
If you’re in a store, 20 minutes prior to closing, where people are cleaning, their gate is half-way closed, they’re counting their cash, and a store-closing announcement rings over the P.A. system, is their “store language” telling you that serving you is priority? Or that getting out promptly at 9:00 is priority? By focusing on preparing the store for TOMORROW’S customers, the staff is ignoring TODAY’S customer…..who, by the way, might think twice about being tomorrow’s customer.
Aha – “The grass is greener where you water it.” ~ Neil Barringham
In our busy lifestyles with so much to manage, giving 100% of our attention where we are might sound like a difficult task.
But what’s the alternative? And at what risk?
“Nothing is more important than this day.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Being present is your best gift.