Monday Mornings with Madison


As I was writing last week’s Monday Morning, my oldest son (age 8) walked by my desk and asked what I was writing. So I explained to him the concept behind this weekly newsletter. He listened, and then asked me, “Does it really help them?” I told him that you cannot change people. Every person is unique. The whole idea of coaching is to open people’s minds to different ideas and ways of looking at things, but it’s up to each individual to apply what he (or, she) learns.

He left the room and came back a few minutes later and said, “Dad, I want you to write something in your email to all ‘those’ people”.
I said, “Ok. Let’s hear it”.
He took a seat and explained to me, “It’s like the wedding we’re going to in a few weeks. Everybody’s busy getting ready for it all this time, but the whole wedding is just one night.”

I told him what he said was true, but I didn’t see his point. He said, “Because all of this time that we are getting ready for the wedding, we’re not having fun today. We’re just thinking about that one day.”

I tried telling him that this email is for business people, and unless he could help me understand how his idea relates to business I cannot write about it. He was quiet for a minute. Then with a smile on his face, he looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry so much. You just put it in, they will understand.”

So, do you???

We are constantly preparing for things — events, vacations, retirement etc. Sometimes the preparations for the event are much bigger and longer than the event itself. So, the real question is: Can we enjoy the present while at the same time preparing for the future?

The answer is: Yes.  It just requires a little practice and the realization that living a happy and successful life is a collection of  many enjoyable moments. And, in order to enjoy a moment we have to live in it.

Most people live in their bodies today, while their minds are focused on the future. We keep thinking that what we have now is not real life. So we are just getting ready to live. We fool ourselves by thinking that life will start as soon as I:
Make a million dollars…
Get married…
Have kids…
Have my own business…
The kids leave the house….
I retire…
We all have a list of just a few things that we still need to do before we’ll be able to start our ‘real’ lives . . .

When we get to the time in life that we have prepared for, and we want to start living, we suddenly realize that the years behind us — those years that we struggled and prepared to live — were actually the best years of our lives. We just didn’t realize it at the time.
What a waste of a life.

This is true in every aspect of life: your personal life and your business life. It doesn’t matter where you are in your business, this is life. And, if you learn how to enjoy every minute of it and do the best you can in whatever you are doing at the moment, things will get better and you will be happier.

Some of you might think, “When I was eight years old I enjoyed every minute of life, but since then life has changed. Now I have all of these responsibilities and I can’t enjoy the present.”

You’re partially right. But, the real question is: if you had kept the attitude you had as a child (i.e., enjoy what you do – and live for the moment), what would your life be like today? I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have a plan and vision for your life or  save for the future. My point is that after you have your plan, you must start living and enjoy every moment of it.

Teach yourself how to live in the present. Focus on your breathing for 5 minuets a day. If you find your thoughts wandering into the future, just bring your focus back to your breathing. This will build up the habit of staying in the present.

If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves. Maria Edgeworth Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. John Lennon

Is it possible that we keep thinking and trying to live in the future because we have no blueprint for how we want our lives to look like?

© 2008 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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