Posts tagged with ‘be present’

15 may

What Are You Waiting For?

JayForte“I’ll start going to the gym next month.”

“I’ll stop drinking after I get back from vacation.”

“I’ll call my parents on the weekend.”

“I’ll eat better next week, after this project at work is over.”

“I should really spend more time with the kids.”

So many of us talk about great things we should do, or things we should stop doing, then find some reason to put it off. I had a friend who would wait until the first day of the next month to start something new or to end a bad habit, regardless of the current day. Why wait? If it is important enough to do, start today.

As I travel and speak about connecting to your talents and passions, I constantly hear stories of people who live lives of regret. As we talk about discovering or rediscovering their talents and passions, many people tell me they kept their passions hidden, waiting for the right time. They wished they had developed their love of music, art, travel, reading, quilting, parenting…whatever. They sadly remember how happy they were doing something that activated them, but never made more time for it. And now, they feel they have missed out.

My eldest daughter gets married this week. I have written several times in this blog about this because you always write about what you feel, and seeing your first child get married is an amazingly emotional event. But more important is the realization of how quickly time goes by. I have spent time this week looking at the pictures of her life – as she moved through each stage. And I remember thinking many times in her life that this moment will not return – I have to be here, right now, to be part of it. Don’t wait. Don’t miss it.

And though these childhood moments have passed, I remember being part of them. I’m glad I made time for them. Even when work and a divorce took me away, I remember changing things to be there, to be present, and to be part of her life. And as I walk her down the aisle, I will remember all of these times. I will look back loving each moment of being her father, and will have no regrets.

So start now with the important things in your life. Don’t wait. What are the things you must do – to stay healthy, stay connected, live better, live more authentically, say what you feel, love what you do…. What are the things you must stop doing – eating the wrong foods, drinking too much, smoking, not exercising, working too much, fighting with others… How will you take ownership and invent your best life?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Identify one thing you love to do, and do it today.
  • Identify one person who needs to hear from you, and call, text, e-mail, write or visit today.
  • Say something loving and supporting to a child, spouse, sibling or friend today.
  • Identify one bad or unhealthy habit you have and end it today.
  • Identify a good new habit and start it today.
  • Identify one thing you will do to help the planet (stop using bottled water, drive less, recycle everything you can recycle, don’t litter, walk more, etc.) today.
  • Identify a need your community has and volunteer for it today.
  • Surprise someone with a compliment, smile or hug today.
  • Create your life’s bucket list of things to do and places to see, today.
  • Identify one thing that will bring your family closer, and do it today.
  • Identify one thing you will do to get better and become more valuable in your job, and do it today.
  • Identify one thing you will do to stay in better control of your finances, and do it today.
  • Identify one thing you will do to become more connected to your spirituality and beliefs, and do it today.
  • Identify one thing that you have always wanted to do, and find out about it, or do it, today.

Your life is as you make it. Your choices and actions determine its level of success, energy, passion and happiness. When you take ownership, not only do you improve your life, but you also inspire others to do the same. When you take ownership, you will look back, proud of your choices, and have no regrets.

There always seems to be a logical reason to put off what you need to do – not enough money, time, resources, energy, support, or something. Yet time goes by, day after day; you don’t get this time back. And soon large blocks of time have passed without making important changes, or living your passions and dreams. Know what makes you happy, healthy and wise – and do more of it. If it is important enough to do, then it is important enough to do today. Don’t wait.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to work strong and live stronger. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resources, Stand Out and Get Hired, and The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual. He has just completed his new book, The End of Average; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit and Transform Your World; chapter downloads will soon be available on his website. More information at

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Posted by Jay Forte on May 15th, 2010 in Career, Diet and Fitness, Family, Finances, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

02 dec

Stop Rushing Through Life

You would think with the amazing timesaving devices such as computers, on-line shopping, auto deli ordering in the supermarket, pick up areas for take out orders – that we would have all this time on our hands. But as one minute frees up, we stuff two more minutes of activities in it.

I often think as I get into the car, “I hope I don’t get a flat because my day is planned so tightly that I wouldn’t have time to get it fixed.” Now that is a problem.

For many, we are in a perpetual feeling of rushing through life – as if every event were just something we had to check off on our life ‘to do’ list. We didn’t remember it; we didn’t love it; but we checked it off and got it done. What a crazy way to go through life.

With the holidays around the corner, consider the following to slow things down, be more present and get more out of the time you have:

  1. Commit to doing a family activity (dinner and a show, short trip, etc.) instead of spending time rushing through malls buying gifts. Memories are better than gifts that end up in landfills.
  2. As a family, select one or two events to attend this holiday season (office party, friends and neighbors) and go have an amazing time – knowing you have the time to be there.
  3. Scale back on the food at the holiday dinner; we all need to eat a little less and we’ll have more time to spend with the people we care about – or (my favorite) get the family in the kitchen to help. It is a great way to start a new tradition. Why rush through the process of getting it ready when you can make the preparation as much of the celebration as the dinner.
  4. Work together to identify a charity or cause that the family feels strongly about. Commit the time to buy gifts, cook, paint, or help out in a way that the charity needs. Teach your family that it is important to make time to care about and take care of others who need the help.
  5. Identify five people you have lost touch with and send a holiday season greeting card. Include a picture (of you, your family, pet, etc.), your phone number and something you remember about the person. Invite a call. Reconnect.
  6. Commit to reading one short story or poem before bed. Set your rest period up to be truly restful by allowing yourself to slow down gently before you sleep. Or, allow yourself 10 minutes of meditation, yoga, a leisurely walk or decaffeinated tea – something to bring the pace down and allow yourself to truly wind down.
  7. Shut the computer off at dinner. No more e-mails; no more Facebook after dinner. Take out a game of Yahtzee, Monopoly or take out old pictures of when the family was young. Reminisce and share some of the forgotten stories.

Commit to ending the rush to get through life. Stop and sit a spell. Notice things around you. Talk to people. Get reconnected. Do fewer things, but do each a little better. Catch your breath.

Life is not a race or an event to check off on your ‘to do’ list. Life is to be lived and you can’t do that running at breakneck speed. Make this holiday the start of a moderated approach to life. As author Sherwin Nuland says in his book The Art of Aging (one of my favorite books), “ We use our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to learn how to live successfully and well in our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.” So, manage life now to not only have healthier years in the future, but to also be truly present today. Because once this day is gone, we don’t get it back.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition and Stand Out and Get Hired. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to work strong and live stronger. More information at

Posted by Jay Forte on December 2nd, 2009 in Family, Health, New Directions, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,