By now, you should have gotten some practice with the five skills we teach in this book:
- Being brings you into the present moment.
- Noticing keeps you aware of your internal world.
- Owning puts you in charge of your existence.
- Enjoying fills that existence with pleasure.
- Reclaiming creates space in which to live.
Individually, each of these skills is useful in your day-to-day life. For instance, if you are switching contexts, say from attending meetings to doing deep work that requires concentration, five minutes of Being can be just the thing to let you reset.
But the real power comes from using all five skills together:
- Notice while you’re enjoying. Notice what you enjoy, and how enjoying feels. Then, bring that noticing into other activities. When you eat food, notice how good it tastes; when you shower, notice how good the water feels.
- When you are feeling indecisive, stop and be for a moment. Think about each option, and notice how your potential decisions make you feel; notice the one you truly enjoy the most, and own that decision.
- If someone tests your boundaries and you feel anxious, try being to get present. Then, reclaim your time (set time aside for yourself), own your decision to do that, notice how that ownership feels, and enjoy it.
On its own, each exercise is a small nudge back into the present moment. And when your attention isn’t split into the past and the future, the present moment stretches out even more.
With practice, you’ll be able to blend all five activities. The cycle of being, noticing, owning, enjoying, and reclaiming blend together into just one:
Flow is the state of being fully engaged with your current activity with total focus and enjoyment. It’s a mental state coveted by athletes and gamers alike, and as a result we frequently associate it with a high level of arousal.
But you don’t need to be scaling a sheer cliff face to experience flow. As you bring these exercises into your life, you’ll start noticing that things just happen when they need to. You’ll notice when you should use all your energy and push, and when you should take a moment and breathe. You might even notice yourself accomplishing more with a fraction of the effort you use to use.
Or, you might just notice how beautiful life is when you take time to live it.
Either way, you’ll have all the time you need.