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I confess that living in the moment is a challenge for me. I’ve written about it several times over the last year and I am making progress.

How about you?

I’ve lived most of my life in the future. As a business leader, I was always thinking about the future and looking ahead. Even as a writer, I am thinking ahead in the next story I am writing … and as soon as I finish this column, I am thinking about the next.

I find it all easy, but living in the moment? Not as easy.

I think back to all that I missed, and I realize I must do better about being present in the moment. I am a work in progress.

This weekend was an incredible “in the moment” time for me. I live on 40 acres. On Friday evening at dusk, I was on my tractor on a gravel access road when a beautiful young deer walked out of some brush and stood inquisitively in front of me. I quickly shut down the engine and the silence of the moment was beautiful. I started speaking to her in a soft voice and she started cautiously walking towards me.

Suddenly, her mom leaped over the three-rail fence and landed, facing me, between me and her child. She didn’t flinch. I again started speaking slowly and softly, I told her all was OK, and she was safe. I know she could not understand the words, but I believe she understood the message. I watched in wonderment as her muscles relaxed and she slowly turned to her youngster and nudged her away with her nose. They slowly walked away. My heart was pounding. This was a priceless moment for me.

Earlier in the day, Arlene and I watched as a very large hawk swooped down into our freshly cut pasture and flew away with a very large snake in his claws. Again, an incredible moment watching nature in action.

On Saturday evening, I played drums and a little harmonica in a band for a community event. I’ve played drums for decades, but it was my debut on the harmonica. I experienced every moment as it happened and was thrilled to be there.

The weekend was capped off Sunday night with Arlene and I enjoying a magnificent sunset. I realized in the morning I have come a long way in my quest to live in the moment.

In my past, I was good at preparing to live, but not as good as actually living. I realize we don’t always recognize the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. And I if we don’t live within that moment, we’ll never have the memory to relive.

Elyssa Barbash, Ph.D., writes in Psychology Today that being mindful can increase mental and emotional health and warns that your mind may be stealing your time. She goes on to say, “Time is a precious commodity. Don’t mentally rush through it or wish it away, Savor the moments, even those of boredom. They, too, will pass.”

Also, in Psychology Today, Michael J. Formica advises us to be alert and be a witness to the events around us. I find this advice extremely helpful and it keeps me focused on the here and now.

Above all, I find when my mind wanders, I take a moment, close my eyes and focus on my most basic function, breathing. It brings me back to the moment.

Most of the people I know struggle to stay focused on the moment. Life in 2019 moves faster than ever. It requires attention to the future with an intense focus on career. I assume that if I am struggling with it, others are also. So, let me challenge you to take an hour a day and do your best to focus on your surroundings and the people you love. It's worth your time and effort. It really has changed and enhanced my life in ways I didn’t expect.

I’ll leave you with the words of a teenage philosopher from the 1980’s …“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t slow down and look around, you’ll miss it!” — Ferris Bueller.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

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Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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