127 Hours LATER

Early this week (or last week, depending on when you are reading this), Julie Manriquez, one of my esteemed guest posters, wrote a fantastic post, called One Hour or 127 Hours: BE in Every Moment.  Julie is a deep thinker, dedicated to daily work toward personal growth and enlightenment, as well as humble (she’s much more talented in so many areas than she’ll ever admit) service to others.  And like is often the case, her message was one that was needed.  Not only by me, but by many others, evidenced by the tremendous response and appreciation she received from other readers.

Her message was pretty simple.  Be in every moment.  Stop making excuses not to fully participate in life. Stop asking for a “hall pass” so you can skip the learning lesson that goes on every day of your life if you’ll just reach out to those who are more than happy to teach.  She went so far as to even dare us to be an active participant in our lives. And if you know me, I never saw a dare I didn’t like.

But 127 (or so) hours later, I’m really, really struggling.  I didn’t realize how seldom I allow myself to BE in the moment.  I can and do FORCE myself into the moment.  But even that doesn’t happen enough.  I realized this past week that almost everything that occupies my thinking, and ultimately my doing, is outside of the moment.  And that is ridiculous.

I blame it all on two evil twins- Worry and Regret.  I worry about the board meeting next week.  I worry about my daughter’s talent show.  I worry about my wife’s stress level at work, about my taxes being due and not finding enough time.  I regret not spending more quality time with my family, I regret not seeing my brother and sister more often, not taking one more shot at playing professional football, at not giving my first business one more year to see if we could make it work.  And I regret that I didn’t know then what I know now- about networking, about raising capital, about business development.

But like a wise man (or woman) once said, tomorrow will never come and we can never get yesterday back.  Worrying about tomorrow or regretting things from yesterday do me no good.  I know this.  But it’s so hard, at least for me, to keep myself in the moment.   One thing I try to do is reduce my time window of focus.  Instead of worrying about the long term impact of whatever I’m doing –If I don’t play with my kids now, will it affect our relationship later?, If I don’t stay up late this weekend, I’ll be further behind in learning this or that–I reduce the window to the ‘next thirty minutes’ or the ‘next couple of hours’.  Then I look at what is important to me.  So there is no confusion, I’ve created a hierarchy (of importance) that includes my family, my spiritual growth and service to others, and my professional development.  Weighing my decision against this list–again, in the short term window-helps me decide what is most important.  Right now.  In this moment.

But again, I’m not always able to force myself to go through that, or any other, exercise to ensure that I am in the moment.  But, as is the purpose of this blog, I’m always working on it.

If you guys know any tips or tricks or have your own methods of making sure you are always in the moment, please share.  We are all in this game called life together.

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

3 Responses to 127 Hours LATER

  1. Awww….I think I might cry :)……..thanks for the kind words my friend, and it IS a process, or a PRACTICE, which means that there is no perfection to be had, we simply need to catch ourselves and learn everyday to make what is truly important our priority.

  2. bbluford says:

    That’s a great point. I have always been extremely (too) hard on myself. When I set my mind to something, I want to be perfect. And when something goes wrong or I make a misstep, which will always happen when you’re trying to change or improve something, I found it hard to forgive myself, to hit the ‘reset’ button. Now that I notice the same thing in my kids, especially my daughter, I realize that I must be a better role model, allowing myself to make mistakes and to learn and move on from them. It is a process. And I have to remember that.

  3. Shelly says:

    I’m a little tardy in posting this – but thanks to your recent blog, I’m on it!

    The key for me has to be following your instincts, making changes that fall in line with my new goals (not what I thought I going to be when I was younger…well my whole perception of what getting older has changed) and learning from my past mistakes/successes (while accepting the good/an not so good parts of me that I bring to the table). Everyone is on a different path and we all have those life
    lessons that continue to surface until we finally take that challenge head on.

    I made my list of priorities, just five, that I posted in my home office. Even if I am not doing all of them right, it’s a good reminder. After writing my annual journal entries…in the end my ideal priorities/values really
    don’t change. Thus, I might as well pay attention instead of struggling with the same lesson every year 🙂

    I don’t know if you are religious or like Mike Singletary (independent concepts) – but he has a family mission statement I also put on scrach paper in the house: google Mike Singletary family mission statement (scroll to bottom of the article posted by Sports and Spirituality) it’s in bold. I like it…

    Keep it up Bobby – good stuff!

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