Our mind is constantly drifting into the future to think about projects and duties or it is ruminating the past. But happiness is in the present moment. This video offers some thoughts on how to better connect to the PRESENT
Connecting to the present
I was running through the beautiful park of “Les Buttes Chaumont” in Paris, when this idea on happiness came to my mind. I stopped to record it, which explains the setting of the enclosed video.
Happiness is “the good hour”
In my mind, I was playing with the words: In French, happiness is a masculine noun: “Le bonheur”. My idea was that it should be feminine: “La bonheur”. This would of course be a massive grammatical mistake, but if you look at it differently, it suddenly makes sense. “La bonne heure” means the GOOD HOUR. And that is hat happiness is all about: enjoying the current moment, enjoying the hour that you have right now, whatever you do. Be present in that moment. Live it fully.
Be present in the current moment
Let all your sense be connected to your current environment (for example to the environment in which you are right now reading this article). What do you hear? What are your sensations? What is the atmosphere? How are you connected to the people around you? This is relevant in any environment. It can be at home, in public transportation, in a public library, exercising in the gym. Live this moment fully, this is your life.
Most of the time we live in the past or in the future
Unfortunately, most of the time we are distracted from that present moment. We very often live in the past. We think back. Actually we ruminate the past, especially when things have annoyed us. We keep spinning this in our mind and it goes in circles but does not bring anything, except that it keeps us away from being connected here right now.
When it is not the past, it is the future. We plan, we dream about the life we wish to have, we anticipate future interactions, we simulate situations, we have crazy dreams about extraordinary events, etc. etc. Most of the time we are focused on everything we still need to achieve today or this week. But all of these thoughts are again disconnecting us from the present moment. They take our mind away from where we are right now and we become like a ghosts of the present and actors of an imaginary future. Constantly running ahead of the present moment and not actually being able to fully live and enjoy it.
How can we be more present in the current moment?
There are several ways to help ourselves be more connected to the present moment in order to live this good hour that was mentioned above. Breath is a great tool for that.
Breath: Inhale! Exhale!
Our breath is in the present. It happens now. If you focus your attention on this constantly repeating cycle of inhalation, pausing, exhaling, pausing, inhaling, etc. you will notice how your mind will start to look inwards and will start to pay attention to your body. What are the sensations I experience in my body? What are the sensations my direct environment is letting me experience right now? Letting it go, just being here, enjoying my life as it is right now. Acknowledging how I feel and accepting it as part of my life right now. All of that is being in the present moment.
Meditate! Even if it is for 5 minutes between meetings
Other great ways to connect to the present are exercising and – of course – meditation. This can be done even during our day-to-day activities. Between two meetings, just stopping for 5 minutes and doing a meditation exercise can help to reconnect to yourself and to the present moment.
Have a good hour (une bonne heure)
All of this will help you to have this good hour (la bonne heure). This is happiness. It is here and now. It is being fully alive in the present moment. It is being connected with yourself.
More information in my book:
Sven Sommerlatte : Successful Career Strategy – An HR Practitioner’s Guide to Reach Your Dream Job (Springer, June 2023). ISBN: 978-3-662-66790-3