So, here’s the exercise to move toward what I've written this past week: Today, and for each day of the coming week, make a little study of how frequently your mind pulls you into the past or future.

  • In an average hour of your day, what percentage of the time do your thoughts dwell on things from the past or over concerns about the future?
  • When you find yourself absorbed in the past or present, study how you feel. What is your stress level? Are you smiling or frowning?
  • Observe your handwriting and the way you talk to others: what does your handwriting they tell you about your inner state? Your words—the inflection, speed, and type of language you choose?

Also watch for those activities, projects, or persons with whom you find yourself intensely present. How do you feel? What do you notice about the quality of your experience when you look deeply into the eyes of the person you’re with or when you are undistracted—nearly absorbed—in a project or task?

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman