Living In The NOW (part 4)

Remember my story? The hunchback? Blaming my parents?

I love my parents but at that time I blamed them for everything. They did not understand me and yet gave me all the support I needed. They thought I failed university because of lack of focus as I was a member of a student fraternity. I might have had lack of focus but the main thing why I failed management studies and statistics was that I had to sit down, study for days and did not understand what I was doing. I only memorised theories to put them down in my own words. No practical approach, no actions related to the theory I was studying. No help but my fraternity brothers who were good at memorising. I was not good at it or interested. And of course, the blame I had were my parents, who else to blame?

To cut a long story short, me failing university opened up something in my brain. I realised that what I really wanted is to be able to do what I enjoyed doing. Not what I thought others would like me to do. I needed to understand what I wanted to do, which was very similar to what I thought my parents wanted me to do. Also, I needed to stop blaming my parents for everything but understand that I was in charge of my own life.

That’s a bit revelation for a 20 something. Some never question that, some never get into the situation but I did. And there were reasons for that later in my life.

Hence I needed to change. I needed to open up, stand upright and become myself. I went through this personal development exercise. Whilst I can write in few lines that I had to discover that I am responsible for my own destiny, that I am the one to blame and that whatever my parents had done to me did not matter moving forward (and all they did was trying to help), this process took a while. To discover oneself takes a while. And you might need guidance and help. A mentor or a friend. You know what I did?

I started living in the now. I started living with a vision of what I wanted to do. I stood up. Started jogging and became healthy. I stopped smoking from one day to the next, I kicked a 60 cigarettes habit in a day and sat down and focused on what was important. I walked upright! However, I […] ended up moving to Scotland a few years later and did my bachelor and got a 1st class degree. One reason was that I had a more practical approach and the other one by learning in two languages things sank in a lot better. I smoked a bit on and off over the years but finally stopped for good years later but the odd indulgence of a fine cigar.

You realise a pattern. Over 10 years ago I started a journey of discovering the NOW and realising that only I can change my life. I am in the driver’s seat of my destiny and I need to do something that excites me. Something I choose to do. A passion.

Everyone should live their passion. You should never have to work a day in your life again. Enjoy what you are doing and live your own life.

Breaking free from this isn’t easy. But I can help you.

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Living In The NOW (part 3)

How are you finding the posts so far? Living in the now, neglect the future and not to worry about money. Will we be able to connect the dots moving forward, or will you be able to trust the universe that things will just work out?

If we stop worrying about what might be and what we achieve and what might happen, we might start living in the now and focus on what is important at the moment. Because only that counts and works in favour or disadvantage of the future. But please do not forget to think about the future, set goals etc. – but do not get too fixed with it and do not let them influence your now.

And, if you have issues from your past that influence your now, and then let it go, use therapy and live your life […]

Fill your life with aspiration. Dreams. Goals. You must want to live your life for a purpose, for a greater you. To make a “dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs said. We are here to make a difference, we are fulfilling a purpose. That is why we are alive. And as long as we are alive we will be able to influence the future from the NOW.

Let me use my own experience as an example. When I grew up in Germany I found that I needed to perform. I needed to be the son that is successful, goes to university and gets a degree and a good career. Did my parents ever say anything to me? No, but I thought that is what they meant in the way they were speaking about things. I then got decent A-Levels equivalent and went to the best university in my field. I failed it.

I of course blamed my parents, and their pressure which they were not aware of. Whilst being at university I smoked 60 cigarettes a day. When I had back pain I got physiotherapy and they managed to put my back right and by doing so pointed out that I walked with a hunchback and with my hands in my pocket. I was a wreck for my age. I lived on certainty: the friend the cigarette, the comfort shape of a baby in a womb whilst walking around. Why change something that so obviously helped me to get through life? Why change my perspective, walk upright and stop smoking?

How does it tie in with Tolle’s theory?

I tell you next week. But have a look at your habits, patterns and behaviour. Are they influenced and shaped by your past or by your future. Are you living (in) the NOW?

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Living In The NOW (part 2)

Did you understand the concept of Now? Let’s look at the concept of time.

One should let go of time which I understand is difficult in the world we live in. Our working hours are measured by time. Meetings are measured by time. Money to a certain extend is measured by time. But instead of looking at time in the wider context, try to understand that “time” itself only ever constitutes in the very moment.

Tolle’s example of the lottery win (page 50) says it all. You can win $10 million … you would simply continue to act out the same conditioned patterns in more luxurious surroundings. The quality of your consciousness at this moment determines the future. And this quality is dependent on your degree of presence. No money in the world makes you change your behavioural pattern, or the way you engage your daily life. It might make it more comfortable but really, it just will change things on the outside!

It is the perfect example to me. Money changes your environment: the amount you spend on a new house, car, TV and other material goods. The money you can give away to charity. The food you eat and the champagne you might drink. But will it change anything inside you? There is this common saying “money doesn’t make you happy” – happiness comes from the inside, the inner self. Your own character, your own consciousness will have to be developed by yourself from within; money or outer circumstances won’t change this.

In November 2007 I wrote a blog post.

The Power of Now (amended 2015)

This was when I was still very junior in my job. I used to go to a book store during my lunch break to kill time and be out of the office. I ended up buying a book a week, and spend a lot less money on Amazon those days. No kindle!

I saw Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” which covers the topic of focusing on the now, the actual day, “carpe diem” so to speak, instead of focusing on either past or future.

Many many people seem to use the past as an excuse for what is happening in the now and make excuses for themselves about things that might happen in the future. Even then I realised that living outside the NOW gives you an excuse.

A way of saying “the reason ‘I am like I am’ is the past”. This doesn’t go in line with what personal development leaders teach. The reason you are who you are is because of you. You are in the driver’s seat not your past. Who decides what you do with your life, who is shaping your future. There can only be you, and no one else. We will touch on that topic again a few times as we go along.

[…] I used to live in the past quite a lot myself and found my personal way of living in the now.

However, looking at myself, I live in the future too. Aspirations, goals, wants and needs. Salary expectations, new job and family – often I think “what if I reached my dream income of let’s say 100K?” – to be honest, if I ever achieve it, then I would want 200K and so forth. Death is definite, it puts an end to it all, does not it? Maybe it does not but then we move away from the now.

I speak about the misconception of money and that it changes everything already. I was quite advanced at the time already 😉 There are no certainties but death. You will be able to shape the future, trust the greater universe to make it happen.

Connecting the dots thinking forward.

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Living In The NOW (part 1)

Here is another book chapter I like to share with my readers. It is about the concept of living in the now and being able to cherish every moment. Being fully in the moment. Being fully engaged in any moment.

The realisation that anything you do happens in the now and not in the past or future. As much as we all like day dreaming, let our mind go on a rampage of thinking about things, plan things etc, we are only ever in control of this very moment: NOW.

Once you read this, the NOW from a moment ago becomes the past. You are in the NOW’s future, the new NOW. It’s only ever going to be here for a VERY short time. Do you realise what that means?

And only in this very moment you can make a decision. You can change the world. Your perception. This tiny tiny bit of moment. NOW. A heartbeat.

If I start talking about the NOW, the present moment, I could not do so without mentioning Eckard Tolle (Tolle, Eckhard, 1999, The Power of Now, a guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Hodder & Stoughton, London). It is almost impossible for me to describe Eckard’s take in the book or to summarise what he says in great detail. I even find it difficult to follow his webcasts and listen to him. He goes deep into it. For me the main thing I got from his teachings are that there is nothing, really nothing at all, that you can do to change the world but in this very moment.

And I suppose if you think about it, and if you really understand it, then you will have one of those “aha” moments. People like to escape from the world and live their lives by engaging dangerous activities (page 42) to feel alive. To live the very moment to the fullest, to go to the limit in the now.

It means that you should never worry. Worrying means you are worried about the future or the past, but you won’t be able to change the past. It is gone. Let go! The future might plan out differently to what you expect, and anticipating it just wastes energy in trying to influence something you cannot. Yet you do have an influence on the future by influencing this very moment, the NOW. That’s where your energy should be. That is where your focus must be.

Read next week about the concept of time.

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