The happiest moments in life are those in which we’re present. I don’t just mean physically there. When we’re mentally present with those around us, we build connections that last.
We’re able to relate better, understand each other, and find meaning in our relationships.
Conversely, our times of heightened stress are usually a result of disconnect. We’re focused on the past or anxious about the future. We spend so much time thinking about what’s gone or what’s ahead that we miss what’s real.
But in truth, the only thing that’s real is this moment. Being present leads to meaningful connection. This became undeniably clear when I went on vacation with my mum, dad, and sister. Every night, after a long day of sightseeing, we’d pile into someone’s hotel room and my sister would pull out this special book — 300 Questions To Ask Your Parents Before It’s Too Late.
As we’d talk about these questions, we experienced more joy in those moments than I could have imagined.
The questions were simple, but my parents’ answers were touching, insightful, and often hilarious! Their answers surprised us, made us laugh, and connected us more than we thought possible.
Those were special moments — connected moments. There is no production we could have paid to see, no comedian we could have watched, no show we could have streamed that would have replicated the belly laughs, touching moments, and memories that I didn’t even know were possible.
Being with my parents was special. Being present made it possible. When we were asking questions, we weren’t half-listening/half-texting. We listened with our whole bodies. We listened without the mental noise.
But this is hard — for me too. It was easy at that time; I could put away my electronics and sit and relax in vacation mode. But in the day to day, it’s more difficult.
We can all relate to this: We try to interact with people, but our minds stay busy even while we’re physically talking to them. Our minds are in the past or future, but not in the moment. We’re unaware of the suffering, distance, and lack of results we create for ourselves.
We rush through life missing the only thing we have — this moment.
Centring our minds on the present may be a struggle, but it’s a necessity if we want to have real connections in life.
Maybe you’re looking to enrich your relationships at home or maybe you want your work life to feel more purposeful.
Connection makes that happen. Connection only comes when we’re physically and mentally present with the people around us.