Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where are you right now?

“If you ask people to imagine winning the lottery,” Dr. Gilbert says, “they typically talk about the things they would do — ‘I’d go to Italy, I’d buy a boat, I’d lay on the beach’ — and they rarely mention the things they would think. But the data suggest that the location of the body is much less important than the location of the mind, and that the former has surprisingly little influence on the latter. The heart goes where the head takes it, and neither cares much about the whereabouts of the feet.”

So, where are you right now? Or better said, "Where are your thoughts right now?"

The study that produced the above quote found that those people who focused their minds on what they were doing in the moment were happier than those whose minds wandered. And, we live at a time where we have been acculturated to mind wandering... to your phone, laptop, TV screen, to the unfinished conversation or the difficult conversation that hasn't occurred yet.

I notice when I am mountain biking down a steep hill that it requires 100% of my concentration. Same with a challenging mogul run. And, there is nothing better in the world! For me, "rest" often has more to do with "giving my mind a rest" than "giving my body a rest". And, when I am in an activity that requires 100% concentration, regardless of the physical exertion, I come away feeling rested. And, happy.

So, where are your thoughts right now? What do you do that requires 100% presence?



Click to read the full New York Times article.