It was mid-afternoon; I had a lot on my mind.
I suspect it was the usual mix of meetings, project deadlines, kids’ appointments, chores not yet done and the constant everyday clock ticking that told me, ‘get home quick.’
As I rounded the corner, leaving the center of the village, the old woman stepped out onto the road with her arm raised.
She was carrying two heavy-looking bags of groceries. I only glimpsed her face briefly but her whole being looked hot and tired.
She probably needed a ride, help of some sort. She didn’t look desperate, but concerned and in need.
I have a million reasons that make sense of my choice in that moment. Busy, late, people waiting, work to do, stuff calling me away.
None of them matter. None of them make it better.
I drove by.
An instant later I came to my senses and took the next turn that I could in the one-way road system so that I could go pick her up. By the time I got back, she was gone.
I didn’t know her. I had no obligation to do anything really.
But to this day (and it was years ago) I know that in that instant, I made the wrong choice.
Now maybe if she had been there when I got back I would have felt better. It would allow me feel like a good citizen.
Sometimes, we just don’t get second chances.
I learned 3 really important lessons for my business from this story:
1. Be Present
As you get preoccupied by what you haven’t done, what awaits you or why you need to be elsewhere, life and opportunities pass you by. There is no living elsewhere; it’s just here, in this moment, where you are.
We spent most of our lives thinking about the past and anticipating the future. So often we let our past experiences project into the present and future. This may work well for us, if we have lived a joyful, empowered experience in the past. But so often this is not the case.
Our past disappointments and unmet expectations predict a disengaged and regretful future. And for no reason at all. The past IS NOT the present! Be present in the here and NOW. What you create today, in this very moment, is the reality you get to live. As simple as that!
2. Listen to Your Instincts
When you are truly present, your inner knowing will tell you what needs to be done. Usually we can’t hear it because we’re too busy getting worried about what we need to do and the decisions we need to make. Listen carefully, decisions become clear and choices are easy. Just listen!
We spend so much time searching for teachers and guidance. Yet the very best guide is inside of you. You know what you need to do. You have everything you need. Take a few moments to get still, relax and when all is quiet and clear, ask yourself the question that you need answering. Allow the answer to emerge. Trust that answer, it will be perfect.
3. React Immediately
When you hear a clear, decisive voice – just do it. Don’t wait around, don’t postpone or procrastinate, take action. I heard Tony Robbins say once ‘never leave the scene of a decision without taking action that supports that decision’. Immediate action is what makes the difference between possibility and regret.
When you know what you need to do, there is no reason to wait.
Often we get overwhelmed and frozen by the array of choices, challenges and opportunities in business. This is what keeps us stuck and unable to make decisions and choices to move forward.
So next time you see something or someone that moves you – allow yourself be moved and take instinctive, decisive action.
Consciously go through these three steps.
Make it a habit and you’ll see a huge shift in your business.
What are you present to today, in this moment? Share your story below.