There was a sensation that struck me, perhaps a nerve that got touched, upon hearing the news about Kobe Bryant, his daughter, the other passengers and pilot that died in the helicopter accident recently. Unquestionably sad that so many lives were senselessly lost. The other layer that hit was the fragility of life.
How many of us have waited until tomorrow? Or perhaps not talked about something because we were afraid people wouldn’t understand. Or wished our lives were different?
In the article 47 Percent of the Time You’re Doing This 1 (Fixable) Thing That Kills Your Happiness, the author cites a Harvard study that records what participants minds were focused on. The test subjects had wandering minds, i.e. were not paying attention/fully engaged with what was right in front of them — a whopping 47 percent of the time .
Try as we might to make changes happen or to have others listen, there is always a possibility it may go awry. That’s when we get caught up in the mind minutia of “Well, if you had just done what I said none of this would have happened.” This builds more angst and more stress.
Have you ever been in the kitchen preparing dinner and gotten so caught up in the mind twirl that you looked down just in time to NOT cut your finger off? Perhaps found yourself in the middle of a discussion to find the temp had changed and suddenly an argument has ensued?
Time passes quickly and getting caught up in the negativity, angst or worry waiting for a time to come when things will get better is futile. We are all aware that caregiving can have its challenges, so finding a way to balance and find ways for inner peace and happiness are critical. One day, our loved ones will be gone, and the ‘what if’s’ can return.
Ask yourself these questions at the end of your day:
Did I let the day whittle away by stressing out about things that are out of my control?
Did I take time to do something that brings joy to my heart?
Stop and pay attention to the smallest of things. Listen to the birds chirping, a baby laughing, or watch the energy change in an elderly person when you pass by and say hello.
Small things help you appreciate yourself and your loved ones. The simple moments in life can lead to happier and more balanced days. Be present by focusing on what is in front of you. I will guarantee you that you cannot change the past, and the future is unseen. But by engaging in the moment – living life the best you can and focusing on what you can control – it will make a difference.
Pay attention to what is in front of you, for tomorrow may never come.