Enjoying the Present

November 16, 2011

Been a while since I’ve composed some thoughts here as I’ve been on the road non-stop.  I recently re-read an article that came out awhile ago that reflects the “danger” of being so focused that we forget about life enjoying the moment, the present, the NOW.  I can work so hard that I wonder if I miss the beauty of life itself that surrounds me.  I have a hard time seeing beauty through what seems to be the mundane.  A world class violinist by the name of Joshua Bell played a $3.5M Stradivari Violin in a crowded metro station during rush hour a few years ago.  He is a violinist that sells out music houses around the world at prices over $100 a piece.  As you read the article (it’s a great article, be sure to read the whole thing) and see the video, hundreds of people pass him by without even so much as a glance.  They are so focused on their everyday lives and responsibilities that they miss the beauty, art, and talent of Joshua.

Here’s a poignant quote from the article - “If we can’t take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that — then what else are we missing?”  I’m sure that I’m missing the little things - many times, I think if I recognize the beauty around me, it lifts my perspective and gives me more clarity, creativity, and passion.  Perhaps, if we just take the time to observe, we can become better entrepreneurs, better people, and better leaders.  Take the time to recognize those around us that make us happy, those who contribute to who we are, those who encourage us when we’re going through challenging times - truly being appreciative and grateful.  These are things that as I’m reflecting on my career as an entrepreneur I am challenging myself to think about each day.

I love this answer from the Dalai Lama when asked what thing about humanity surprises him the most.

He answers: “Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

What do you think?  Are you enjoying the present?  How is that making you a better entrepreneur?

Enjoying the present for me can be as simple as enjoying a great bowl of ramen and appreciating the art, passion, and the entrepreneurs behind the business.  As I continue my search for the best bowl of ramen in the world, I savor everything about the broth and the noodles.   I know something as simple as ramen can make me appreciate the now, and taste beautiful.  Share your ideas, thoughts, and stories below.

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Comment by imnotadoctor Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-17 08:56:47

I struggle with this all the time. But soon realized that damn life is good. Its good to stop once a day and realize this.

Ironically enough that quote from the Dalai Lama I have on my iphone home screen. Help remind me what really counts.


Comment by Karl Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-18 14:35:15

Taking it a step further, there is now the potential for extended longevity. A stressful life not only takes you out of the moment, it also robs you of a long life and with scientific advancement extended youth.

People have been giving up a short life for Money and going forward they are giving up even more.

Comment by Sean
2011-11-19 13:02:42

Nice one Andy. I saw that WaPo article a few weeks ago. I’m thinking that I may have passed him as well about 50% of the time at least.

Awesome seeing you in SoCal last month. See you in NZ in Feb - I’m leaving Monday!

Comment by Grubbs
2011-11-27 14:51:45

I glad to see people enjoying life another few month’s then i can enjoy mine’s.

Comment by Anne Leighton Subscribed to comments via email
2011-12-24 20:55:26

It’s about living and loving the life, Andy. Money is important, so is achievement, but–as Jesus said, “the greatest of all is LOVE.” There’s a book Russell Simmons just put out called SUPER RICH. His focus is the connection you have with your work, your clients, and your inner soul.

I’ve realized that making sure I have time to work out, eat, play, feed my cats, clean my home has enriched my work life in many ways.

The other thing is your own outlook. This Neo-Chinese proverb I wrote is based on a true story:
Chinese restaurant

Two people in a Chinese restaurant.
A baby is crying, and one person says, “My parents would have scolded that kid to shut them up!”
The other says, “I like telling the child, ‘ooo, you have a set of lungs on you! What else can you do with them?’”
And that is the key to looking at life.

2013-07-23 23:00:58

You are right we have to take out some time for our dear ones because the time never remain the same.

Comment by Mitja Drame
2013-11-05 05:23:37

Hi Andy!

I saw the video of Joshua Bell in the past and realized many things. Living in the present is beautiful. Because you hear, feel, see everything around you. Many problems come from the past or the future. It’s stressful. It’s not good to be a “time traveler”. “Now” is everything we have.

I like to practice “the now” every day. When I go to a walk, wash up the dishes, listening to music, on a futsal training. Life is so much fun and easier. Meditation helps, too.

When we do business we all have lots of worries, but living in the present, many disappears.

Stay blessed and enjoy the NOW!

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