I have lived my life preaching the moment. Mostly because so many of us don’t live there. Typically, we either worry about our future or regret our past, both of which take us out of the moment. Life occurs only in the now, which is why I have spent the last 10 years of my life helping people be present to it.
But something is missing from the “now” when it exists in a vacuum. When one lives their life only from moment to moment or day to day it is not purpose driven. The “now”, when isolated by itself or lived only for itself, floats aimlessly. It weakens that infinite power we humans possess called intention – that ability to create what we desire in our lives.
It is hard for many to step into the potent space of intention. It reeks of responsibility and self-determined destiny. To fully own this power of intention, we must stand in our legacy and reach back to the moment. Legacy thinking inspires us to ask, “What do I want to be known for? How do I want to be remembered? What impact do I wish to have in this world and with my loved ones?” Standing in that place, the view of the moment becomes clear and powerful. It becomes directed and purposeful, and you can suddenly see how each moment and choice in your life is tied to the next. To live without that clarity is analogous to traveling to an unknown destination without a map, compass or GPS system.
The great thing about this perspective is that the true choice is not whether to live in the moment OR from the legacy, but rather both. Live in the moment FROM the legacy. We must stand in the vibrant aliveness of today, and live in it powered by that vision of, and commitment to, the future we wish to create for ourselves. Doing so suddenly puts each moment in perspective for us. It provides a guide from which to choose how we wish to live our lives, how we interact with people on a daily basis and how we respond to the challenges of every day. The legacy serves as a guide for us and all our choices and starts to give life greater meaning.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your legacy is something that lies within you. It is a destiny that is waiting to be born. Coaching can help generate clarity about what is inside you. Who you really are, how you want ot live your life and what you want to be known for. Coaching can help you understand what you want your legacy to be and chart a course toward that future. If you would like to define your legacy, send me an email at email@example.com and I will send you an excellent exercise designed by Stephen Covey to help you begin to define it.
If you don’t have a compass, don’t forget your bread crumbs!
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Posted in General, tagged Alexander Graham Bell, Being Present, Coaching, Inspiration, Letting Go, Moment, Spiritual, Trust, Universe on January 4, 2010|
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It was Christmas Eve morning and the sun was just breaking the horizon, lighting the sky from a deep purple to its first hints of turquoise. The last stars of the night twinkled their good-bye, winking at me.
I was excited to put the finishing touches on January’s newsletter that I had written a few weeks earlier. I sat at my laptop, plugged in my flash drive, but failed to hear the familiar “ding” telling me the computer recognized the new drive. I took it out and tried again with no better results. In a panic, I turned on my other computer and tried it there with the same deaf response. No “ding” of recognition.
I am not a materialistic man. I have little in my apartment and if I am attached to anything in life they are the invisible things you cannot touch – love; friendship; laughter; the company and conversation at a good meal. As a writer, however, my words are my treasure. Thousands and thousands and thousands of words I have written over the years capturing my thoughts, my emotions, my heart. All of which are now trapped on the inaccessible flash drive.
For a moment, I cannot breathe. A wave of fear rushes through me and settles in my stomach, as if I have just been kicked there during a horrible fight. I repeat the process of sticking the flash drive in and out of the computer at least 20 times. Nothing. I stare at the computer screen blankly, pleading with it to ding and tell me it has found my files – found my life – on the flash drive.
My heart sinks and all I feel like doing is crying. I am attached to my words, and now they are gone. I take a long hot shower, letting the water run over me as I ponder the loss. I follow this by sitting in the warm sun, meditating and grounding myself in my new reality.
I am now challenged to live some of the principles I teach in my coaching. Life is not what happens to us, but rather how we respond to what happens to us. If I stay attached to my words, yearning for them to somehow magically return, I am promised a life of misery and regret. I will be left suffering and stuck in a place that will deny me the ability to welcome in all the future gifts that await me. Life is very much like a never-ending wellspring, pouring forth new gifts, and in my case new words, everyday. To spend too much time looking longingly at the past, wishing for those words to return, is to admit that the power and creativity within me is limited. And it is not. Not for any of us.
The Universe wants to give us all we desire. And it wants to give it to us on a silver platter. But if the table before us is cluttered and full, it has no place to set down the platter of gifts. I ponder this principle and realize the key ingredient to living it . . . trust. My table has just been swiped clean in one quick motion, like an arm sweeping across a dinner table scattering the dishes and glasses on the floor.
As I sit before my computer, I can only wonder what new gift of words awaits me at my now barren, clutter-free table. I trust that they will be magnificent as I stare at my past trapped in the flash drive, close my eyes, and leap into the future of the blank computer screen.
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell
If you so choose, each new year is an opportunity to sweep your table clear and welcome in the new gifts the Universe wishes to give you. The trick, of course, is not to be attached to what you had in the past or to the outcome of the future. If you can manage to live in the freedom of the present, trusting in the moment, and trusting that what you desire in your heart will be manifested, the life you desire will suddenly appear before you.
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