Enjoying the Precious Present
The first two weeks of 2024 have not gone to plan. Work wise a project I have been working on for two years has been stopped due to a compliance challenge and there is no easy way forward. Just before Christmas I had to deal with a car accident and the resulting insurance administration. Today I got a Penalty Charge Notice on a car park space that I had paid for. These things happen it’s still a beautiful day and all these minor problems are part of life. It’s easy to focus on the problems and miss out on enjoying the journey and appreciating each day with family, friends and colleagues. We don’t know what the future holds and so we need to enjoy the gift of the precious present.
Living in the present moment means no longer worrying about what happened in the past and not fearing what will happen in the future. It means enjoying what’s happening now and living for today. Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, but it also robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment.Joshua Becker
In the project management world of deadlines, targets, and project milestones. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of planning for the future, problem solving in the present or dwelling on past successes and failures. Spencer Johnson’s book, “The Precious Present,” emphases how important it is to enjoy the journey and enjoy the everyday present. It tells a parable about an old man explaining to a young boy the importance of appreciating the Precious Present. The boy grows up and eventually understands the old man. I think there are lessons here for for every project manager.
“The precious present has nothing to do with wishing.
When you have the precious present you will be perfectly content to be where you are.
The Richness is rare, indeed, but… the wealth of the present comes only from itself.
The Precious present is not something that someone gives you it is a gift that you give yourself.
The present is what it is. It is valuable. Even if I do not know why. It is already just the way it is supposed to be. When I see the present, accept the present, and experience the present, I am well and I am happy.
Pain is simply the difference between what is and what I want to be.
When I feel guilty over my imperfect past, or I am anxious over my unknown future, I do not live in present. I experience pain, I make myself ill and I am unhappy.
My past was the present. And my future will be the present. The present moment is the only reality I ever experience.”The Precious Present, Spencer Johnson, 1981
The key take aways for me are:
- Wherever you find yourself, be present: Appreciate the relationships and time with people around you. We need to enjoy the everyday journey and not be occupied by distractions.
- No present circumstance is going to be perfect let’s appreciate where we are and celebrate the success of what has been achieved each day.
- Avoid dwelling on mistakes and don’t be anxious about the future
I hope you have a wonderful 2024 wherever you are whatever you are doing with whoever you are with, that each day is filled with an appreciation of the present and enjoying each day as it comes.