Last month in San Francisco, I had the privilege to see the Dalai Lama, and Eckhart Tolle speak. The next weekend, I was in Fort Lauderdale at a Tony Robbins Event. And then visited family for two days, on the West Coast of South Florida.
It was a remarkable 10-day span.
When I got home, I crashed.
The travel is over, the stimulus evaporated. What happened? It was like a dream I awoke from in the morning.
That’s how I felt Monday morning, getting back into my routine at work.
I didn’t stop working or crawl under a rock. I just felt this sense of unease. The little voice inside my head was saying the clichéd phrase, “back to reality.”
This unease was the thought of not being able to get anything completed, or I need to catch up on work, or I don’t have enough time each day to get done what needs to get done.
As I was functioning during the day, with this unease looming, I noticed something about myself. I was shorter with people in conversation, over the phone and in person.
In person, I was short with eye contact, and friendly contact. I’m usually a friendly person to strangers, or in passing at a restaurant, or grocery line, etc. But during this week, work and tasks were all I thought about. I avoided all interaction with people.
Over the phone with clients, and friends was the same. I was short, and also frustrated on the phone. I was shaking my head at myself after a conversation. I felt burdened. I was rushing with everyone, and I felt pressured.
I was rushing to get to the next thing.
But what I was really doing, was rushing past life, without realizing it.
And then, in the middle of the week, I thought back to the teachings of Eckhart I was a part of ten days before, and I read this quote:
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.” – Eckhart Tolle
And then I another quote by Eckhart Tolle:
“You cannot become successful. You can only be successful. Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? A sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action.”
And this quote by Eckhart, as well:
“Do what you have to do. In the meantime, accept what is.”
We’ve all hear the saying. Maybe one too many times when were trying to get through a situation in our life. Maybe it’s a struggle with a relationship, or maybe it’s a challenge at our job. Maybe it’s a goal you are striving for, or a project you are looking to complete.
You hear from someone, or tell yourself: “One moment at a time,” or “one day at a time.”
I decided to take Eckhart’s quotes, and the clichéd saying “one moment at a time,” on a real level. I stopped, and took a walk around the block. I took a few deep breaths, then, I went back to work.
I slowed down.
Something profound happened next. The stress and pressure started melting away. I sat back at my office desk, and I focused only on the one thing I was doing at the time. I focused and completed it with a sense of quality, and care.
I was having successive successful moments. I wasn’t thinking about my long list of tasks. I wasn’t thinking about my voicemails, and emails.
I was in tune with the one thing I was doing. Every phone call I made, was handled as if it was the only phone call I had for day. I treated it with care, and attention. I listened, and shared.
I focused more on HOW I was doing my task, versus what the task was and the means to the end of the task.
And this gave me clarity, and subsequently, has given me better results.
Next time you feel frustrated in work, or in any area of your life, say the words “ONE MOMENT AT A TIME.” And then try to naturally do this. Focus on HOW you do something. Just by asking, “how am I doing this right now,” will help you create more care and quality to it.