High achievers Matt Furey, D. Chopra, Eckhart Tolle have often commented on the value of being present. All three have made statements to the effect that, without placing your FULL attention on this moment alone - your odds of success in any venture, drop dramatically.
Yet does this mean you simply 'stay in the now' and forget all about your long-term plans and goals? I say: 'No way!' And I'm betting all three of the above would back me up on this. Find out why, below. And learn EXACTLY how to combine present-moment awareness with long-term intentions, for best results. It's good, useful stuff.
Collegiate wrestling champion Matt Furey has often commented that the secret to his success was just this: He was able to focus upon each action taken, to best of his ability, while SIMULTANEOUSLY keeping in mind his long-term vision of what he'd set out to accomplish.
Author D. Chopra says much the same in his, THE 7 SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS. In which he writes (paraphrased): 'Combine your intention (or goal) with the idea of detachment. Then you'll achieve a centered, present-moment type of consciousness. When you take action with your attention FULLY in the present? It is most effective. True, your intent may be for future goals or dreams. Yet your attention is in this moment, alone.'
As, without a long-range goal or plan, your moment-to-moment actions can be scattered, directionless. On the other hand: You can have a great long-term vision of what you'd like to accomplish. Yet if you haven't the internal fortitude to practice the daily steps to achieve it? You just might end up like the 'mass of Man,' as Thoreau might say - lost like a leaf in the wind, symbolically-speaking.
Not a place you want to be.
A better course of action: Set a goal. Write it down. Then read it each morning with sunrise, and each night before bed. In this way, your long-term vision will become a part of the very fabric of your being. There's something about reading it mornings while 'sleeping on it' by night, that seems to bring it closer to you. Try it, and you'll see this is so. Now, having settled upon a goal - write down the PRECISE actions needed to accomplish it.
Let's say your goal is to get into the best shape of your life. Post a picture of EXACTLY the type of individual you'd like to become, physically. Get that picture from a book, magazine or article if necessary. Staple the picture to a piece of paper. Then write down your ultimate goal. Be specific. In this case it might read: 'Six months from now I will look exactly like this person. Nothing will stand in my way! I will take each action needed to make it happen. I will focus all my attention on EACH action necessary, along way. While I keep my ultimate goal in mind.'
Then, write down the actions needed to achieve that goal. Here, it could be: 'From now on I'll make healthy plant-foods 90% of everything I eat.' Or, 'I'll do AT LEAST 30 minutes-worth of tough calisthenics each morning.' Perhaps even: 'Those two I just said? I'll do both!' Then perform those actions each day. Focus your entire attention upon them. Remember: You've written down your long-term vision. You've read it each morning and night. So it will be 'in the back of your mind,' always. Though your attention may be in the moment, on the task at hand. I can tell you from experience:
As, the protocol you've just read is PRECISELY what I did when I was a spent, 'over-the-hill,' out-of-shape, fast-food addict. Yet with just a bit of focus, and a willingness to try something new? I transformed myself into what you might call a 'healthy-eating, fitness-machine.' You can do likewise (no matter your present condition). I've worked with enough to know that to be true, without doubt. What's more: This achievement technique works just as well with ANY goal you might have.
Find that picture. Attach it to paper. Write down your long-term vision of who you'd like to become. Keep this a secret between you and God. Who is always listening; where others perhaps, are not. Write down the daily actions needed to realize your goal. They're usually far simpler than you might think. Then, most importantly: Take at least ONE action daily toward achieving your goal. While doing it, focus on that action alone.
Success is forthcoming.
E. Tolle comments on the idea: 'There is always only this one step, and so you give it your fullest attention. This doesn't mean you don't know where you are going; it just means this step is primary, the destination is secondary. Another way of putting it: What the future holds for you depends on your state of consciousness, now.' (E. Tolle, THE POWER OF NOW)
Alright then: There's a path leading upward, toward that place of which you've dreamed. It may be treacherous in places. Yet can you travel it, if you've the Will? And if you center your focus, upon each step of the way? 'No doubt,' I say! In fact I'd bet my life on it, my friend. A willingness to take that first step, is all that it takes.
Make it a good one, vision in mind.