Are we talking about the famed "Ladder of Success" or something entirely different, but related? Well, very often, people climb that so-called ladder of success only to find that they were on the wrong ladder or had put the ladder against the wrong wall! We're talking about something that is fundamentally more important in today's video...
Focus on what you're doing now - one thing at a time (we'll talk about the myth of mutli-tasking some other time!). Singlemindedness is the most important quality you can bring to every aspect of what you have to do today. Immerse yourself in what you're doing now - deliberately heighten your sense of seeing what you're looking at, noticing how you're feeling, as if you were being overwhelmed by the experience of the moment... dive headlong into there here and now. It's the only place and time that you can live your life.
Perhaps something of a milestone but, more importantly, it means that there are 599 that have come before today's offering and you can browse all of them in The Archive!
We need to be almost obsessive about attending to the present moment - I said "almost" because, to become truly obsessive is a distraction from the here and now itself.
What do I mean? In this moment, you have chosen to do something. And what that means is that you have chosen not to do something else. Now, before I go any further, you need to check to ensure that what you have decided to do is the right thing. The more focused your mind becomes the more your own mind will ensure that you've made the right choice.
But let's say you have chosen to do the right thing - and let's say, for the sake of argument, that you've decided to exercise in the gym. I've chosen this example because it is really easy to explain and will act as a metaphor for everything else e should be doing. Say you're jogging on a treadmill. You need to completely immerse yourself in doing just that. This means that you don't listen to music and you don't watch the television. You immerse yourself in how it feels to be jogging. You observe what's happening in the various main muscle groups that are involved, you actually see the muscle groups expand and contract in your mind's eye (we've all seen the picture of the poor skinless guy on the doctor's wall - so you know what your muscle groups look like!). You feel your feet in your shoes on the treadmill's belt. You notice the shift in your body-weight from one step to the next. You follow the rhythm of your breathing and feel how those big deep breaths fill and empty your lungs in that rhythm. You lick your lips and taste the saltiness of the persperation, feel that perspiration collect on your forehead, down into your eyebrows. You experience complete immersion in the here and now.
This is proper focus. This is fully and singlemindedly attending to just what you're doing now - no distractions, no splitting of your attention, you are fully in the zone, you are fully doing what you're doing having made the decision to do it. The fact that research shows that, when we exercise this way we burn more fat and gain more lean muscle more quickly is actually beside the point... the key training you're doing when you do something that you're doing this way is that you become adept at doing everything you're doing as if you actually mean it. And that makes all the difference.
The Easter holidays are still in full flow in the Alps. We have happy families zipping through the trees on cables, hiking along the mountain paths, eating BBQs around the lake, strolling through the local markets... or, at least, that is what we think of when we think of holidays.
We've seen parents scream at children, and vice versa, because one or other party to the confrontation wasn't getting what they wanted. We've seen stressed out parents leaving tiny toddlers to wander around shopping centre carparks while the parents argue over God knows what. We've seen people screaming at each other because that BBQ that's been lighting for a couple of hours, well, isn't lighting (a dodgy art in itself, of course) and we've seen more children crying in the pursuit of happiness than you'd see over the course of an average week walking past the local school.
But, most shockingly of all, I had to swerve to avoid a very young girl (perhaps 7 or 8) being pushed off her bike by her own father because she wasn't following his shouted instructions which, presumably, related to having a happy day out together.