What now?

Walking to the bend in the road

Where nothing is certain

I let go of my concern for tomorrow

And let the joy of today’s sunshine

Be the master of my experiences.

I have been reading and considering the question of how to be present in every moment and yet fulfill the requirement of modern living for activities like planning. In an instant, I realize that it is possible to plan and be present.

dreamstimeweb_23910 4How do I do that? First, what is planning? Planning is an activity that attempts to give us a course of action in the future based upon what we know today and what we anticipate the future will bring. In its own definition, it is an effort that approaches something this is unknowable for it is truly impossible to know the future.

What we can do with planning is to see if the trajectory that we anticipate is one that we will find acceptable. We can also get a glimpse of actions that may help us prepare of the future. Not necessarily a specific future but one that is filled with any possibilities. Planning can bring to light areas of preparation such as learning needed or provisions to acquire or activities to engage that lead us in a particular direction

couple reading a mapWhat is most important to remember about planning and being present is that a plan is only an approximate “road map”. We can use this to navigate, however, if we use it to be an absolute set of actions we follow, we have created a clear approach to live in the past. For the plan, once it is completed is a picture of how the future looks from the past. By following this picture as an absolute set of instructions we do not live in the present and we will always live less fully. For to live fully requires abandoning all plans in the present moment and looking anew at what life presents us and deciding anew how to act.

dreamstime_491121When I teach, I spend some time preparing myself for the upcoming event. Just before I walk into the room, however, I abandon all the plans I have developed and focus 100% of my attention on how I can teach what those call for today present. Sometimes the results are surprising.

A personal example from last year where i planned a teaching occasion with a team of educators I had worked with four months previously. A very careful plan had been developed to meet the needs their leaders said were the most important. In the early part of the morning, I asked the question, “So what’s new?” The response showed that there had been an event that happened over the past few weeks that was not only on their minds it could redefine who there were as a team. So we spend the next day exploring this new development and completely disregarding our pre-arranged plan.

Remember planning is about approximation and can never truly be our absolute guide if we want to be present and fully experience everything in our lives.

Until later,


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Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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