When talking about the present we forget that it is a product of what was our future yesterday. In talking about the future, former First Lady Barbara Bush compared it to a train ride.
“We get on board that train at birth, and we want to cross the continent because we have in mind that somewhere out there is a station. We pass by sleepy little towns looking out the window of life’s train, grain fields and silos, level grade crossing, buses full of people on the roads beside us. We pass by cities and factories, but we don’t look at any of it because we want to get to the station…..”
Your Present Station
The stations in life change. For many of us the first real change is when we get out of high school. How well did you do when you were in the present in high school? Are you elevated by the experience and ready to take on a new present?
The Present of the Next Station
For many it is finding that career that is rewarding and that first promotion. Once again where you end up in the future is a reflection of how you were doing when you were in the present.
And then there are some other stations. Maybe the next one is getting the kids off to college. Then it is retirement. Once again the future of these is determined by what you did in the present.
Give Your Attention To The Present
As we go along, all too late we recognize the truth, there really is no station. The joy is in the journey and the journey is the joy. Too often when you are starting your own business or running a small business this is forgotten.
It is too easy to become focused on small business growth and small business success at the expense of enjoying the present. Without warning one day you wake up in your 50’s or 60’s and realize that you are a marvelous “human doing” who has a great business but you have lost the “human being.”
Focusing solely on a destination is not a good idea. Tomorrow may come; it may not. So go read a book, eat ice cream, play with the kids, go fishing or laugh more. Regardless, go and enjoy life.
Too often the self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional looks at life as an “either or proposition”. Either I work or I play. To enjoy the present and get the most from life look at life as a “both and proposition.” Combine work and play in the present.
After all, the present is the only place where you really have any power. When you make your life a “both and proposition” then the present is truly a gift.