Be here now. Live in the moment. Seize the day.
These are just a few colloquialisms about taking advantage of the moment. Our expressions about making the most of our time on Earth transcend every culture, race, and creed because we all go through seasons when we struggle to be present.
Missing the moment
Is it human nature, or is the challenge of taking advantage of every opportunity a byproduct of how we live? So often, we’re too busy to seize the moments, opportunities, and relationships that will serve our ultimate purpose.
This is interesting, because missing out on essential moments, however convenient in the short term, hurts us in the long term. We missed lunch with a friend because an important client called. Or you failed to schedule a family vacation because your work calendar was just too grueling. Or maybe, you didn’t meet a mentor that would have been integral to your career because you skipped applying for the internship.
We make conscious choices every day to be fully present or vaguely aware of the world and people around us. And there are consequences when we miss out.
Earlier this month, we talked about regret. And regret is one of the inevitable side-effects of not taking advantage of the moment. The good news—this type of regret is preventable.
I like to ask people where they want to be in ten years. Most of them have a decent idea, whether their answer is personal or professional. But the real question is what you’re doing now serving those goals? Are you living your purpose?
This is tough because few people can honestly say they’re fully present and taking advantage of every moment. Where you’re at right now is the only thing you can really control. Getting caught up in looking back at what happened yesterday—or worrying too much about what will happen tomorrow—means you miss out on what’s happening here and now.
Investing in relationships
One goal I think we can all share is investing more in our relationships. Neglecting to connect with the people around us is so easy to do. But with a bit of intention, you can start to invest more in your relationships today.
I had a friend who struggled with this. After she became a mom and started working from home, she felt detached from her friends and burnt out by the grind of motherhood. The longer these feelings persisted, the more disconnected she became. Before she knew it, her identity as a wife, daughter, sister, and friend began to slip away.
She decided to act. Her solution was simple. She started setting aside 30 minutes to connect with friends and family every week by going through old texts to check in with the people she hadn’t heard from in a while.
Her willingness to reach out started conversations that wouldn’t have otherwise happened. And more often than not, those texts turned into phone calls, which turned into meals and other cherished fellowship.
On a recent podcast, Daniel Pink, author of The Power of Regret, suggested that we’re more susceptible to regret when we don’t take action. So the fear and anxiety most of us feel about reaching out is almost always unwarranted.
Reconnecting with a person we’ve lost touch with is never as awkward as we imagine. Because when it comes to connecting with the people you care about, every moment is the right moment.
The more you put yourself out there to take advantage of the moment, the more opportunities to take advantage of the moment will come.
Trust me, you probably won’t regret the clients you didn’t see or the meetings you didn’t have. But you will regret the experiences and relationships you didn’t nurture.