The pandemic of 2020 has been a largely forced opportunity to reevaluate our priorities and loosen the hectic schedules that seem to dominate modern life. For months now, those inane social rituals that make up most of our interactions have now been replaced by family, friend, and solo time. Let’s acknowledge that possibly not all this time is quality time with loved ones as we juggle working from home with small, overly energetic coworkers. How do they have all that energy?
These sudden shifts in our circumstances are, in effect, the pendulum swing that is life. Since we cannot control many of these circumstances, focus on being present and purposeful in your thoughts and actions.
Marcus Aurelius once wrote, “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”
Take a moment to reflect on how these thoughts may guide you to living more purposeful in your life. If this was your last day, or hour, where would you want to devote more attention in the moments since you woke up today? How would you change the way you spend time with family, friends, pets, or even strangers? What would it look like to commit to that time and embrace it like it may be the last time you see them? Are you involved? Present? Wandering where you could be otherwise engaged? This is not meant to be melodramatic, or depressing, it is simply a call to pay attention to your actions.
Make the change.
As you ponder these questions, notice the emotions that arise. Feeling uncomfortable would not be uncommon, and in this space, it becomes necessary to lean into this discomfort. We tend to disengage and stop paying attention out of boredom, challenges in concentration, or lack of respect, for the individual or task at hand. The most difficult obstacle when learning to be more purposeful in your actions is the initial step of awareness, or, mindfulness.
It takes practice.
Take advantage of this forced shift in life dynamics and practice! Practice being present in your interactions, your workouts, your chores, your work. Notice, observe, make the change, and be present and purposeful in your thoughts and actions. How does this practice of purposeful action affect your quality of life? Are there places you’ve noticed you’ve been more purposeful in your actions? Share below!