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By S.A. Prince
I ran into an old football coach of mines the other day. Upon seeing me he laughed and then immediately shook his head saying, “You know, I fully expected you to be playing in the NFL, but you didn’t have the necessary focus.”
Somewhere inside of me I knew he was right. I didn’t have the focus at the time. See, back then I didn’t understand what it meant to “be in the moment,” and how being in the moment would have helped me not only in athletics, but also in my academics and personal relationships.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began to learn about living in the moment, and the true freedom that can be experienced in it. In every moment and in every situation, we can only choose one of three actions. We can condemn, justify, or embrace.
When we condemn or justify, we do so based off of past experiences of pain versus pleasure. That’s what most of the world does, and in the physical realm that animalistic response makes sense, but psychologically as it relates to our consciousness, condemning and justifying equates to bondage. It is only when we psychologically embrace our circumstances and emotions that we live in the moment, and experience true freedom.
Embracing your circumstances and emotions doesn’t mean you allow yourself to be walked on, but even if you are walked on then you are not affected, because you see objectively. That needs to be understood.
Through embracing our circumstances and emotions we hedge off two enormous causes of personal pain, competition and comparison. You are not living in the moment if you compete or compare. Why? All competing and comparing are based on prior observances. You are literally not the same person you were yesterday. You aren’t the same person you were a paragraph ago. You won’t be the same person you are now, by the time you finish reading this article. And you won’t know who you will be until you are in the moment. Comparison, specifically relating to the psychologically realm is not freedom.
So, how does understanding this help you become a better athlete, family member, lover, etc.?
When you give your complete and full attention to the moment, we let go of all outside influences. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter. What’s going to happen later doesn’t matter. Neither are our focus. There is no focus to spare, as it is entirely in the only place where we can make the most use of it, which is in the moment.
Next time you are playing a sport, or studying, or spending time with a loved one, be in the moment. Don’t look to compare or compete. When we do this and let go of all desire, we also let go of the pleasure versus pain existence. For the first time you will experience delight and joy like never before. You will experience love like never before. And, you will understand how to handle hurt like never before.
There’s no better feeling than living in freedom from the known within each moment of our lives.