“I wish I knew what I know now twenty years ago”, how often do we hear, think or say that? And it is true. I’m sitting here today wondering how I could have been so dumb! I mean with 20/20 hindsight figuring out the context of life is all so easy, in fact it is boring.

Piece by piece

My last blog compared life to a jigsaw puzzle and unbeknownst to me my puzzle still had more to share with me so as I could share it with you. This lesson was one of perspective, focus and location. I realised when completing the puzzle the pieces on their own were totally meaningless, only when viewed in context of other pieces did they derive any meaning. What’s more that meaning was a gift not just from one other piece, rather from the community of pieces that were coming together to deliver the full picture.

Life by default or Really Living?

The realization was I had to have completed one piece of the puzzle before I could even really see properly what pieces were missing let alone identify them in a meaningful way. I was incapable of seeing the pieces for what they really were.  To make sense of them I had to access the experience the puzzle built up as it went along. Similarly in life how we see things today is very dependent on what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow depends on what happens today. Without yesterday being what it was today would have been different. Then I realized literally everything and everyone around me is a product of where life has taken me so far. There is nothing random about how and why I am where and who I am. It is all a product of my choices, within my control. Yet until I became conscious of how my mind works it was out of my control.

Be careful what you focus on

The puzzle still wasn’t finished with its lessons. It must have thought me a rather dull student. I was enjoying those wonderful moments where the final pieces fall into place, reflecting on completing the puzzle and I noticed the importance of focus. In order to make sense of a particular part of the puzzle I had to focus on that part. Concentrate on finding those particular pieces, connecting them up until the picture emerged. The thing is, whenever I did this I only made progress on what I was focused on. There were random pieces I was able to fit in elsewhere but the major work happened where I focused. In my life and yours focus is a key. Whatever you focus your attention on consumes you for that moment. You connect with it and it becomes part of your experience and therefore you. Be careful what you focus on. Be deliberate.

Captain Obvious

Now for the captain obvious statement “if you are not present you can not make progress”. If I did not sit down at the table and connect to my work of completing the puzzle nothing happened! There were times where I sat and quickly realised “No, not now!” My mind was too scattered to focus, or there were competing priorities. I had to make time for the activity. Doing significant work requires significant organisation and it requires you to be present. Being present at the table both physically and mentally is a prerequisite for achievement without which nothing happens. Isn’t that true in life? If we are not present to what is happening and what we are doing then the achievement of our hearts desire becomes a totally random outcome, as likely or not as any other outcome.

Now is all there is

The sum of this is the importance of NOW! Right now this moment! It is the sum of reality. In a flash it is gone and a repercussion created either by design or by chance. You have either taken a deliberate step or accepted a random shove in an uncontrolled direction. It is happening now. I’m pushing or rather leading you. Are you reading the meaning I am writing? I know you are reading through your mental filters putting your interpretation on my words. What I hope you are also doing is examining your interpretation in the context of what you want out of life and being deliberate in your choice to accept or reject this information. Else your brain just bullied you again!

Who are you?

Just like a piece of jigsaw puzzle your current context is a product of your life’s experiences but unlike a piece of jigsaw your life doesn’t have to be the way it is. You can deliberately create your own context. Having context is vital to being deliberate, having a context for living that you have created for you is empowering. It enables the power focus you know what matters and what does not matter so you don’t waste the NOW. You use every NOW by always being present and knowing where you are going.