“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
It doesn’t get any simpler than that: the present moment, this moment is the only moment that actually exists.
And with the holidays swirling all around us right now, there’s a whole heap of scrambling around, engaging in aggressive shopping and a degree of manic consumption that reaches its peak around December 22. Yikes.
Sometimes when we’re not present, we’re fretting over the past. Other times, it’s because we are thinking ahead to what needs to be done next.
The problem with either is that you’re not present NOW.
And that leads to unhappiness AND avoidable mistakes.
At work not being present may mean you miss an important detail that will throw a wrench in a big project.
If you’re not present when talking to your kid, you may miss the fact that you are responsible for bringing bagels to the next event.
If you’re not present as you’re leaving your house, you may leave behind your phone, keys and/or wallet.
What if you could receive only one present this holiday season? What would it be?
The answer for me is simple: time.
That’s what I mean when I say, More Love, Less Stuff.
The relationships I have with my friends, family, readers and colleagues mean more to me than stuff.
Stuff is easy to get my hands on—it’s everywhere.
But stuff pales in comparison with intimacy.
So the next time someone asks you what you want for Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas, tell them, “Your presence is the only gift I want. I already have everything I need.”
And if you’re giving gifts this holiday season, your time and attention will mean more to your loved ones than anything sparkly wrapped with a bow in a box. Guaranteed.
One of the pioneers of professional organizing and productivity, Andrew Mellen is the best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!. He travels the world speaking, teaching, and coaching individuals and global brands including the New York Mets, Genentech, American Express, Time, Inc. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.