I recently had a head-on car collision in my brand new Mercedes with my two children in the back…thankfully there were no injuries. The car did a great job in protecting us and keeping us safe…unfortunately I can’t say the same about the car – it is in pretty bad shape.

While my sons moved from the surprise of the big bang to excitement of being interviewed by the policeman – both myself and the other driver were baffled and could not really recount how this had happened or whose fault it was.

So what happened? How could I not know what had happened? Everything points to us both falling out of presence. We were not present in that moment of driving, observing what was in front and around us. I’m sure you can relate to moments when your mind has wandered off, thinking randomly about things like:

  • I wonder why that person said what they did
  • Will the job offer be accepted
  • Will that customer take on the contract
  • What should we have for dinner?
  • I wish I had finished that report!
  • I am so late getting home; how am I going to get everything done?
  • Why haven’t I heard from this person?
  • Why are things not going right?

I know this isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time my mind wanders – it’s natural, right? So why is this important? It costs time and money – in this case it put me and my boys at risk. We were very lucky no-one got hurt but it could have been much worse.

Do you also struggle with the challenge of being present? Do experience any of the following:

  • Get to the end of a meeting and realise you missed half of it.
  • Listening to someone tell you something important but not really hearing and processing what they are saying.
  • Eating but not tasting your food.
  • Driving or walking home but not remembering the journey.
  • Reading but not noticing the details and getting half way through a chapter and feeling confused by what is happening.
  • Difficult to switch off from work at home.

Take a minute and ask yourself:

  • How present are you?
  • How does this or could this affect you and those around you?
  • How does it cost you?
  • What would it look and feel like if you were more present?

This was a reminder for me on the importance of presence – thank you for my gift of life! There is no present like presence. When you embrace presence – enjoy it and live it – life becomes a lot easier and much more efficient!