The Simplest Advice: Present

I stole this from Chade-Meng Tan’s book titled Joy on Demand. A very joyful reading experience. You should try.

Why is it we hear the word present a lot and what good it serves us?

One thing I know regret is in the past and worry is in the future, so when we are present, it’s a present for us! Because we are free from those evil things. Cool!

But really? Why is being present important?

Because being present builds joy at the moment, and a series joy builds happiness, and happiness builds a successful and fulfilled life, and isn’t that our goal?

So how to be present?

Enter Chade-Meng Tan:

There’s a nice story to illustrate being totally with, which is a short story by Tolstoy called “The Three Questions.” The ultra-short version of that short story is this: A king decided that if he knew the answer to three questions, he would always do the right thing. And the three questions are: One, when is the most important time? Two, who is the most important person? Three, what is the most important thing to do? Eventually, he learned the answers from a wise man. The most important time is now, because now is the only time which you have some control over. The most important person is the person you’re interacting with. The most important thing to do is to do your best to serve the person you are interacting with. Know these, the wise man told the king, and you will always do the right thing. To have a strong presence, be in the present, treat the person you are interacting with as the most important person in the world, and do your best to serve him or her. The training for presence, therefore, is mindfulness and compassion. Practice these two things, and you will have a strong presence.


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