It’s a late one today but let’s see what I’m able to get done.
So I’m actually listening to a summary of the ‘Power of Now’ itself – and it’s actually inspired me to write this blog post.
There’s an irony to this as the audiobook ultimately talks about the present moment being the only real thing in life – and that ‘now’ is all we have.
I was going for my 30 minute evening walk and just listening to this summary which I’m around 35% of the way through but felt it was important that I communicate to you what (for me at least) is the most powerful and main essence of the audiobook.
Now what’s interesting is that I have actually attempted to read Eckhart Tolle’s famous book but couldn’t get my head around it. I found it too abstract, and seemingly irrelevant to my situation.
Even now as I listen to the summary I have this same struggle with parts of it when it talks about identity, and the being, and pain being illusory and some such elements.
It’s a challenge to grasp what he means and it caused me to rewind and listen again in the hopes that I might understand somewhat better but nope lol.
No luck :p
However, I do want to talk about the most powerful element in this audiobook that’s caused me to rush home, and sit at my laptop and type away in order to get this message out.
And that is literally about the true power in the only time we have – now.
So Tolle talks about the concept of psychological time – which I think refers to the emotions which we attach to past experiences and potential future events. Then there’s clock time – i.e the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.
Importantly – he talks about how all of these things are actually illusory. There is no such thing as the past.
That was a moment in time – just like ‘now’ – quite literally now as you read this – now is all you have.
There is now past, or future, there is just this moment that you have right in front of you.
And this is such an incredible concept for me that is so easy to forget.
As I write this it’s a Sunday – and even last Sunday I felt a little deflated, and depressed because I knew it was going to be a hard week with work.
Therein the book is a savour – because it underlines the reality that I defeat myself by taking away from now, and the focussing upon now – and instead I am looking forward to something that is reducing my ability to focus upon things now.
With this one single concept in mind – it’s incredible to realise how it can make my anxiety fall away.
This is the single biggest concept of the book (as I’ve scan read a couple of online summaries), alongside the hour-long summary of the book I’m reading.
And I felt it was worthy of a blog post.
It underlines how the concepts of worrying about your past and present are built into the fabric of Western civilization and are so different from Aboriginal and Native American cultures (this part might be me having misheard some of it).
Nonetheless, there’s so much to take away from this solid principle.
Much of your life is spent worrying for status, fame, riches and the like when really the only thing that should absorb you is here and now.
For here and how is all you have.
I can see why for many people that wouldn’t align with ‘planning, and ‘activities’ and ‘ambition’ and the like.
But actually, I think Tolle’s insights only serve to enhance how you build your life most successfully.
Now stay with me on this –
Ultimately, your ability to shape your future and learn from your past is ENTIRELY centred around the actions you take here and now at this moment.
A good example of this – is that for me one of the big ambitions I have of mine is to become recognised as a motivational speaker of sorts in the future.
How can I act POWERFUL upon this right now?
Well – I believe I’m doing it through the production of this content.
This will play the purpose of building up a significant body of thought that I can put out in blog format.
Furthermore, Eckhart Tolle talks about realising that your thoughts and emotions are not you, as much as you have these thoughts and emotions – and you should simply observe them and not let them dominate you.
It really draws upon principles of being able to be more in control of your feelings and thoughts by not worrying about trying to control them at all.
But rather, you can watch and observe them, and not place any importance or weight upon them.
By placing weight upon feelings of sadness, happiness, pain, fear and all of the rest – you actually chain them to your being.
And in doing that you give them power and life, which can create disharmony.
I’m listening to myself kind of say this out loud whilst I type and I realise how ‘cuckoo’ this might sound.
So I want to return to the original point about living in THIS present moment and nothing else – and correlate what I (still) spend too much of my time doing.
Worrying about what has happened, and what I want to happen in the future.
Pain also is a construct of the mind – it’s a signal the brain creates all of itself – and Tolle says there are studies that demonstrate that pain is not real.
Whilst I don’t agree with that in its entirety – I do understand the point that Tolle is trying (I believe) to drive home.
Pain, worry, and all of the negative feelings and thoughts associated with living a worried and ‘poor’ life come from all that stems from not living in the present moment.
I find great beauty in that.
It’s how you can live powerfully.
It’s how you can create powerful routines – and it’s how you can solve huge problems.
The question, for example – when faced with an upcoming client issue, or late delivery or refund request or anything else of the ilk – is ‘what can I do about it now?’.
Part of the reason that the teachings from this book resonate with me so much as I do my best to summarise the main point of this bestseller – is that I’m in the process of trying to change my life.
My agency, Pearl Lemon – is too much of a source of stress than I’d like – and I find it occupies too much of my mind space.
One action I’ve taken to try and resolve this is to NOT check my messages before 1030am every day.
So far I’ve managed this with an 80% success rate since the 1st Jan.
I’m up at 430am each day, and that means I have 6 hours of uninterrupted time to myself.
I’ve literally seen myself transform into a productive powerhouse because in doing that – I’ve given myself the power to focus upon NOW.
To not worry about my clients.
To not worry about my team.
But rather to live in the present moment and to focus upon the things I can do NOW to build a better life for myself.
This is what I think Tolle is getting at.
And whilst it’s creating some problems in my life – they are ultimately shorter term than the solutions this will provide as I am in the process of extricating myself from the day to day runnings of Pearl Lemon.
This is what has inspired me to write this piece today.
And in summary – that is the main point that I believe Tolle is trying to drive home – and what an incredibly powerful one.
It feeds into this Charles Swindoll quote quite perfectly:
That ultimately we can determine how we go about this life. As life is happening all around us, and if we determine to control our actions via our attitude – we will be that much more successful and happy.
Here are some things I intend to change as a consequence of reading the Eckhart Tolle summary –
- In moments of conflict when I feel intense anxiety or stress – to realise that stress and anxiety are not who I am. It is simply a feeling – and that this feeling is not real. It is an illusion
- To be mindful of my heart rate, my rapid breathing and to not cast judgement upon it – but realise that it’s merely something I’m going through – and that this will pass
- And to not – overreact – which is almost always an emotional response and not a logical one.
As an entrepreneur in the making – much of my thoughts are dominated by worries and fear – and not enough time is spent just enjoying this process of journaling and sharing my thoughts with you.
I wish to live more and more fully in the present, and to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing at that time – and in moments of tension – to realise that being ‘tense’ is merely a passing state of being and it is not me.
I feel like Tolle’s thoughts echo Swindoll’s quote, what I learnt at The Landmark Forum – that ‘it is what it is’ and that often sensationalises our past and give it an inappropriate voice in our present, and that the future creates unnecessary whispers.
Until next time 🙂