SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Ultimate Skill – Where do you spend most of your day?

May 21, 2020

To help support its members, SCL is providing a Weekly Wellbeing blog to provide insights and inspiration to help you be kinder to yourself and to support the wellbeing of others. #SCLweeklywellbeing

The Ultimate Skill – Where do you spend most of your day?

When you think about it, how often are you fully immersed in the moment, giving it your full attention? Does your mind wander off and get lost in thought?

Someone once said, “why does the the human mind ignore the second the?” – perhaps our focus is not as great as we thought. Now, re-read that sentence a couple of times.

Most of what we do is on autopilot and our attention span is diminishing, thanks to the distractions around us. How many times has your mind disappeared during a lecture, reviewing a contract or simply having a conversation – even reading this article!

Sometimes our autopilot works flawlessly (for example, breathing) however there are plenty of habits we have developed that we are not consciously in control of, which results in self-sabotaging much of what we do. This is accelerated by push notifications on phones and the gamification of everyday tasks. We’ve essentially turned ourselves into walking doorbells!

Before making any kind of transformation, whether implementing a morning routine or something like handling stress/anxiety, this can only be done when you are present in the moment. Otherwise, you are lost in your mind of subconscious programs. You’ve probably already connected the dots here, but if your attention is 95% away from the present moment throughout the day, transformation becomes quite difficult. This is why developing an ability to be present is one of the most crucial master skills you can develop in order to live a life on your terms and to take back control of your mind.

By increasing your attention span, you enhance your ability to make congruent, calculated decisions, you can self-reflect and catch yourself before you react to something on autopilot and if you do happen to struggle with anxiety, it gives you some welcome relief from thinking and worrying about a future-based moment that has no reality other than the one created in your head.

We could go into detail here, but there is a short, concise book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Many people are put off by the branding, which mentions “enlightenment” and “spirituality”, however the mistake is often to immerse yourself too fully into literature and forget you’re able to take what you want from its teaching. You will learn something from this book, as many points are so concisely articulated in a way that will resonate with many of your life situations. If you practice separating the teacher from the teachings with anything you come across, you will absorb knowledge and insight like a sponge.

Before we sign off this week, here are some pointers to be mindful of:

  • Time is manmade. It doesn’t exist, except in our heads. If you asked a dog (and they could talk) what time it is, they’d reply “the time is now!” 
  • How many times do you escape the present moment and contemplate the future, either believing life could be better (“when I get this, I will be happy”)? By doing this, we invalidate the present moment, the only time that is real.
  • The future does not even exist yet and when it does come into reality, it will be a “moment of now”. How often have you been late for something and lost your keys, only to find them in an obvious place? If we actually disconnected from the thought process of “I’m going to be late” and brought our attention to the present moment, perhaps we may have found those keys much sooner and avoid the reality we hypothetically constructed.
  • The past is only ever a thought, nothing more. There are studies that even show that quite often, our experience of the past is often distorted in order to strengthen the emotions we feel towards it.

How do we train our minds to become more present? Other than being aware, meditation is a great method here. There is more on this to come in a future Weekly Wellbeing article.

Also see:
SCL Weekly Wellbeing:
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Ultimate Life Hack:
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Cold Shower:

SCL Weekly Wellbeing is created by Nick Watson and Gary Waters. #SCLweeklywellbeing

Unlike most Legal Technology entrepreneurs, Nick Watson comes from a development background with a history of developing large, bespoke projects for a variety of industries including the Law. Launching in April 2016, Nick co-founded Ruby Datum, a user experience-driven, pioneering Virtual Data Room company. He also has a passion for wellbeing and is working towards a vision of a more mindful legal industry.

Gary Waters is a respected coach and entrepreneur. Gary’s background includes building a #1 ranking hospitality business in one of the UK’s most competitive tourism markets in the South West of England. Gary decided to sell that business so that he could channel all his energy and focus into his passion, which is helping people through coaching. Gary specialises in helping clients develop an Empowered Mindset, which enables them to navigate life’s challenges on their own terms. He’s passionate about helping people create a life of purpose and fulfilment through Personal Coaching, Business Coaching and Consulting programmes.

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