Have you ever driven from one place to another and, upon arriving, realized you don’t remember a thing about the journey? The route you took, the turns you made, the sights along the way – all a blur. It’s as if you just ‘arrived’ without truly experiencing the travel between Point A and Point B.
You might call it being absent-minded, or maybe you label it as autopilot. Or perhaps it feels like a temporary blackout – a lapse in awareness where life just happens around you without you truly engaging in it.
I was chatting with Cullen today about this and can’t help but see it as a metaphor for how we sometimes journey through life. We’re physically present, but mentally and emotionally, we’re somewhere else. We go through the motions – wake up, work, eat, sleep – but are we really experiencing life? Or are we just ‘arriving’ at each next moment, unaware of how we got there?
This ‘auto-pilot’ mode is like a mental blackout. We lose track of the beauty in the every day, the small joys, and the lessons learned along the way. We might be moving forward, but we’re not truly living.
So, what’s the lesson here? For me, it’s a wake-up call to be more present. To not just exist but to live and engage with life. When we’re truly present, we notice the little things – the laughter of a child, the smell of rain, the warmth of a friend’s smile. These are the nuances of life that add color and depth to our existence.
Being present means actively participating in our journey, not just letting it pass by. It’s about making conscious choices, appreciating the moment, and embracing each step of our path with awareness and gratitude.
I’ve applied this to my daily life even before we had this conversation today. I realized that I often find myself just going through the motions. This is how absent-minded I’ve been. It’ll be lunchtime, and I think to myself, “Did I do my walk today?” I mean, how can you exercise for 30 full minutes and not even remember if you’ve done it? Crazy, right!?
So, I’ve been doing a meditation walk a couple of times a week. It’s really helped me slow down and be present where I’m at. I hear the birds chirping around me. I feel the cool air on my face. I see the people in the neighborhood passing by, and I acknowledge them. I’ll tell you, it’s amazing how much more vibrant and fulfilling life becomes when you’re fully engaged in each moment.
I’ve witnessed this in clients as well. It’s quite similar to the experience of driving on autopilot. We can have an entire conversation about a challenge they face in their business, diving deep into the problem, exploring solutions, and mapping out a plan. Yet, when we reconvene a week later, it’s as if the conversation never happened. They don’t recall the key points we discussed or the action steps we agreed upon. It’s like that drive from Point A to Point B, where the journey – despite being critical – is completely forgotten.
This pattern is more common than you might think. It’s as if our brains, just like when we’re driving on autopilot, file these important discussions under ‘non-essential’ and fail to retain the valuable insights. This isn’t just about forgetting a minor detail; it’s about losing sight of significant growth opportunities.
It makes me wonder, are we sometimes too caught up in the day-to-day hustle that we don’t give these moments of insight the attention and retention they deserve? Or is it a form of subconscious resistance to change, where our minds prefer the comfort of the known, even if it’s not serving us well?
That said, my conversation with Cullen really hammered home the importance of this mindfulness. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to live. But let’s not allow our days to be a series of forgotten moments. Instead, let’s be present and fill them with meaningful experiences.
I encourage you, as I’ve been reminding myself, to find your version of a ‘meditation walk.’ It doesn’t have to be literal; it could be any activity that brings you into the now that helps you connect with your surroundings and your inner self. Maybe it’s savoring your morning coffee without the distraction of your phone, or taking a few minutes just to sit and breathe deeply, or perhaps it’s spending quality, undistracted time with loved ones.
Remember, life is a collection of moments. Let’s make each one count. Let’s be present for the laughs, the tears, the challenges, and the triumphs. Let’s embrace the beauty of now, for it’s in these moments that we truly find the essence of life.
Here’s to living, truly living, in each moment. Let’s turn off the autopilot and take the wheel, steering our lives with intention and purpose.