Changing the Focus of Our Lives To the Present Moment

On the second web-cast of Oprah Winfrey’s phenomenally large online class with Eckhart Tolle, one of the moments of impact was when Eckhart talked about making the present moment the focal point of our lives. Eckhart has a wonderful way of saying inspiring things using such plain language that we can all get it, no matter what our spiritual or religious background might be. We can see into the meaning of his simple words, and connect with the reality that they are pointing to.

We heard in his earlier book “The Power of Now” about the importance of the present moment-about how the past and the future are not real in the same way that this present moment is real-past and future are just ideas that are programmed into our minds. This must have resonated with many of us, because the Power of Now has been on the best seller lists for so long. Now Eckhart has written A New Earth and it has already sold 3.5 million copies, even before Oprah started this class. We must have an abiding interest in this message! And we want to know-after exploring our interest and enjoying these wonderful books, is there a way that we can actually experience this reality that Eckhart is talking about in the midst of the commotion of our busy daily lives?

What would it really mean to change the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and to stay living in the world? If we are willing to really have that happen for us, what would it mean for our lives? The content in each of our lives is different obviously, so the exact details of what would change would be as unique as we each are as people. On the other hand, there are universal patterns about this inner shift that Eckhart is referring to. One of these is expressed so succinctly by the description he uses of having a space develop between our sense of self and our thought processes. This space occurs and expands as we disidentify with our thought processes, and relate to them instead as a wonderful tool that we (an identity outside of them) use. In our lives up to this point, we have been fused with these thoughts that go through our minds, as if our ideas about ourselves are actually equivalent to who we are. When we stay in the present moment and notice that our thoughts are arising and are something quite separate from who we are, then a space is appearing. At first it may seem vague and fleeting, but over time if we keep giving this our attention, the space seems to widen and become permanent and “normal”. We notice our thoughts as if from a slight distance, as only being thoughts and not having anything to do with who we are. We no longer look to our thinking processes to provide us with crucial information about who we are, and so are freed in a wonderful way from reliance on our thoughts, feelings or circumstances conforming to our preferences. They no longer affect us in the same way.

This lack of reference to thinking for clues about our identity, doesn’t leave much possibility for using the past and future as focal points for our daily living. Past and future turn out to not exist outside of our thought processes. We can watch our thoughts creating both. Meanwhile it is all happening in a present moment that seems to be pregnant with possibility and vitality. When we stay with it enough to recognize the incredible beauty of the life force expressing itself around us in a myriad of forms, it can feel quite overwhelmingly and radiantly beautiful, no matter what the content of it is.

If what we are going to do today or how we are going to behave in a particular situation has been a compulsive recreating of the past (making today be much like yesterday and projecting that into tomorrow) we become freed from that. Although such freedom from the past is generally felt to be wonderful, what is sacrificed to get there is the knowing of what will be happening in the future. To the mind, this tends to be a profoundly unacceptable situation because of its need to control life, and mind may be making noisy complaints about that. The noise, however, is occurring on the sidelines of awareness once we are experiencing the space that we have been referring to. It is just mind doing what minds do, making noise and being a tool that is trying unsuccessfully to retain control over its rightful master, you. It no longer is needed for that particular job. You already know who you are.

As we allow the present moment to be the focal point of our lives, we are freed from the domination by our thoughts that has been the normal human condition for thousands of years. We are freed to live our lives without compulsive referencing to ideas about what is possible and the world opens up to us. We use the mind to reference practical things-we don’t want to forget our phone number, or forget how to cook dinner. Mind is the most amazing and practical tool when it comes into its rightful place of serving something beyond itself. And when it is not needed, it can rest. What is here in this focal point of the present moment then, is the simple yet vitally alive world that surrounds and includes us. We feel the wind in our hair again. We see the incredible vitality in the world around us-we see God (or call it Life, or Love) peeking at us out of everything. We experience the joy that every birdcall has all along been offering us. The veil of thinking has been lifted off of the world, and life as it is, including our own, can now be experienced.

Experiencing the world in this way is such an overwhelmingly wonderful experience that once it is felt, it forever remains as a motivation for the sometimes time-consuming process of learning to live it in the midst of everyday life. At first it may be that even little disturbances like a harsh word or a traffic jam with jump-start mind into such compelling noise that the experiencing of the present moment may not be possible until that event is long passed. But gradually over time, with steady attention to who we really are, we are able to stay conscious in the little things and only more charged and potent events can throw us. Gradually we come to live our whole lives in this new world. We have changed the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and our world reflects back to us the incredible gift of the Life that we have been given and that we are.

Deliver Great Presentation (Sale Pitch)

The Business Equivalent of an “Open Goal”

They may be traumatic, but presentations can win you business.

Whatever you sell, you need to be able to make a persuasive case for your product or service. Often this is not just a matter of one simple meeting. If this stimulates interest you find yourself at a meeting, then putting in a written quotation and then a message comes in inviting you to present your ideas to the potential customer’s whole board. If your heart drops at the thought of something formal – on your feet in front of an expectant group – then you are normal. Many people fear presenting. As the old saying has it: the human brain is a wonderful thing, it starts working on the day that you are born, and keeps right on – until the day you stand up to speak in public!

Presentations have been called the business equivalent of an open goal. They represent real opportunities. Of course there are skills involved, as with anything, but you can impress if you go about it the right way.

An opportunity

A well thought out and delivered presentation may be a vital link in the chain of events leading to a sale. It can impress. It can add something to the way in which you, and what you offer, are being judged. But make no mistake – this is fragile territory. People do not say – what excellent ideas, shame the presentation wasn’t better. They say – what a rotten presentation, I bet the ideas were no good either. It may not seem fair, but it is life. Faced with making a presentation your only option is to make good one. The question is, how.

The magic ingredient

So far as any magic formula is involved, the key can be stated in a word – preparation. You need to think about what you are going to do, set clear objectives and have plan to follow. Think about how long you have (ask what they expect). Think about what you will say first, second and third (a visible structure, which may need to be no more than a beginning, a middle and an end, is vital. Think especially about how you will start. A good start impresses, getting their attention and making them want to hear what follows, and getting off to a good start will give you confidence.

The case you present must be logical and the logic must be apparent. It helps to signal what is coming – first I am going to say something about timing, then installation and, of course, cost. Make some notes, and link them to any visual aids you plan to use (and it is valuable to use some). Notes need not be elaborate – key words may be a sufficient reminder to you – but they must be clear, easy to follow and preferably allow some flexibility. You do not want to sound as if you are just reading something. You should sound as if there is, at least in part, an impromptu element. This moves what you do from being just a standard “pitch”, to being something tailored for the individual customer you are talking to – and that is one thing that impresses.

Putting it over

So, you are ready. Look the part. Stand up straight. Take a deep breath. And use your voice. Just speak naturally at a volume that is right for the person furthest from you. Remember to breathe, and do so where there should be a pause (the verbal equivalent of the comma and full stop). Speak just a touch slower than in conversation and exaggerate – just a little – where you need emphasis. Use appropriate gestures and do not be afraid to pause to reinforce a point. And try to create real variety of tone and avoid a flat monotone.

At this stage you must have the courage of your convictions. You should know it is the right length, and that it makes a good case – because preparation (and maybe rehearsal) has told you so.

Finally, always remember your overall intention. This focuses your thinking and rewards you when it goes well. It is the customer finally saying, “Yes”.

The key elements:

  • prepare carefully
  • have clear intentions and objectives
  • organise your notes and visual aids
  • get off to a good start
  • go through a logical structure and sequence
  • use your voice (and gestures)
  • end on a high note

Helpful Hints On How You Can Choose The Best Present For A Woman

Women are soft-hearted by nature. Even those who put on an air of strict professionalism or a rigidly schooled demeanor still have their soft spots. That’s why it pays to soothe their ruffled feathers every once in a while. You have to be observant enough and know what makes them tick! For example, most women have almost photographic memories when it comes to important occasions. They are less likely to forget important occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. They are also suckers for surprises. In other words, they will expect that something wonderful will happen with a particular occasion. That’s why it’s best not to disappoint them!

Most women are weak when it comes to display of affection. Their feelings are easily swayed, even when at times they are not really in the best of moods. That’s why they are especially fond of giving and receiving gifts. They take special care in choosing the most suitable presents for their special persons. That’s why they also expect to be reciprocated. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to give a woman something expensive or lavish in order to win her over. The more important thing would be to choose a gift that can either pique her interests or full of sentimental value.

These are some of the more significant points you should take into account when buying a present for a woman. First of all, you have to note down what age group she belongs. Keep in mind that a woman’s taste also varies in accordance with her age. Those who are in the thirty and younger bracket would usually prefer more quirky items. Those who are in the forty to sixty brackets are likely to lean towards either elegant pieces or practical items. Naturally, those who are just in their teens would want stuff which is closest to their hobbies or interests.

The second consideration should be their interests or hobbies. This means that you should do a bit of research. If she is someone whom you are quite close with, then there’s no problem at all. But if you are not that knowledgeable of her preferences, the best solution is to ask those who are closest to her. For example, if she is a fitness buff, try getting her a personalized towel or water bottle for gym. The third and last consideration should be the price. Make sure you work out a decent budget for the gift. While it doesn’t have to be expensive, also try to spare as much as you can afford for a really memorable present.