Living In The Present While Becoming Successful

There are limitless ways in which we can do things. Two people may set out to achieve similar goals, and both achieve them, but one can take longer than the other. However, the one who achieved the goals faster, was constantly stressed and made people around him stressed and unhappy as well. On the other hand, the person who took longer was always at peace and made people around him happy. Which one was more successful? It could have also been that the one who made people happy also reached the goals faster. The difference is that one put more importance on the value of the present moment while the other put more value on the final outcome.

How do we reconcile achieving the desired outcome when it may appear to be impossible to be overly worried about other people’s interest if you are to achieve the desired results? This is a question that hopefully more people would ask themselves before embarking on achieving a goal.

Finding balance through the present moment

We are conditioned to think that our results solely depend on get things done without much consideration to the manner in which we do it. We place primary importance on the desired outcome and forget about the quality to each moment as we do the tasks that are necessary to reaching the goal.

Learning to place the greatest value on the quality of the present moment leads to balanced decisions and higher quality action. By placing your focus primarily on the present moment we recognize the value of “Being.” When we understand that “Being” in a state of already feeling successful produces high quality success, it is much easier to shift the focus. We begin to understand the power of living in harmony with our environment while we perform our work. Stress and worry disappear and clear thinking takes over. Production goes smoother and even quicker and things flow with ease. Nothing is forced.

Practice living in the now and know that by accessing the power of now, you can enjoy even more success than ever before.

Presentation Skills: What Should You Include in Your Slides?

If you’ve decided to use slides in your presentation because you believe they will help your presentation, it’s crucial to think about what to include in your slides.

Resist the temptation to write your script out in the slides. Not only is that boring for the audience to see slides full of complete sentences, but they can read faster to themselves than you can read out loud so they will finish reading the slide before you do.

Instead, use fewer words and provide the voiceover that gives meaning to those words. Even better, use graphs, charts, spreadsheets, photos or images that will visually explain your points.

Graphs, Charts and Spreadsheets

Use graphs, charts and spreadsheets if the information they contain will help the audience understand your message.

Avoid putting up a chart or graph and saying, “I know you can’t read this.” (When I hear this, I am tempted to shout, “then why are you showing it to us?!”) Make sure it’s legible and that the colors are easy to distinguish.

And rather than just showing the whole chart or spreadsheet, highlight and zoom in on one section of it. So, first show the overview and then on the next slide, show a bigger version of an excerpt, for example, just the 2010 numbers or just the line that shows customer growth over the past three years. Having just one section on the screen makes it easier for the audience to see, read and understand what you are focusing on.

Also use your words to highlight the important points. Orient them to what they’re looking at and then focus in on what’s important. For example, say, “What you’re looking at is a graph showing 2010 sales. On the x-axis, you’ll see the months. On the y-axis, you’ll see the sales, in millions of dollars. I’d like to draw your attention to the last bar, December, where you will see that sales are double any of the previous months.”

Use Photos or Images

You can also use high-quality photos or images in your slides to communicate a point.

Make sure they are clear, easy to understand and relevant. Use high-quality stock photos or take some photos of your own.

For example, if you are introducing your department and office location to clients who have never seen it, use your camera phone to take some photos of your office and co-workers and include them on the slides. If you’re presenting outside the country, include a map of your location so the audience can see where you are in relation to a city or landmark they are familiar with. Photos and images used in these ways can help you bridge the gap between you and your audience.

Use As Many Slides As You Need

I know that some companies have rules about how many slides people should have in their presentations. And I realize these rules are in place because the CEO doesn’t want everyone presenting to him or her with 300 slides that are going to take three hours to deliver.

However, I think these slide limits are arbitrary. I could give a one-hour presentation without slides (in fact, I would prefer it). I could also give a one-hour presentation using 20 slides, and I could give a one-hour presentation using 150 slides.

Content and time limit should be more important than the number of slides. Use as many slides as you need.

It shouldn’t matter how many slides you have, provided that the slides enhance your presentation and help you clearly communicate your message within the time limit.

The Art of Being Present

I have spent the past few years, observing how people behave, both when they are at work, where they should be investing their time as productively as possible, earning a living and also whilst they are at home, where they are meant to be relaxing and recharging their batteries. It astounds me to see, that they are never present when they are doing either.

My observations have shown that when they are at work, they are lost in distraction, day dreaming about, how wonderful it would be, to be away from the office, involved in an activity with their spouse and children or even on the golf course. This means that they are not focused on working, so they perform below par and don’t get everything done they need to do whilst at work. This means that they reach the end of the day, without having wrapped up all the things, they needed to do for the day.

So they go home stressed, overwhelmed and are then forced to think about all the things they need to do the next day, when they go to the office, whilst they should be present, at home with their spouse, children or on the golf course. So when people should be at home resting and re-charging their batteries, they are instead stressed out about all the things they did not get done that day at work. Man, this is a crazy, pointless cycle of endless distraction and overwhelm.

Break Free from Distraction

This means people are never completely present, with anything they do. They are not focused at work, so their productivity is low and they are never able to concentrate and give their full attention towards completing tasks at work. Research has shown that if you are distracted, your IQ drops by 10 points. People, who smoke marijuana, only experience a drop of 5 points in their IQ. So allowing yourself to be distracted, has a greater negative affect on you, than smoking marijuana does. Combine this with the loss in productivity because you are never present, both when you need to be completing tasks at work and re-charging your batteries at home and you can understand why people, seem to just spin their wheels all day, achieving very little.

Learn the art of being present

If you truly want to achieve greatness, then it is time to accept that you need to be 100 % present and focused on what you are doing at that time. When you are at work, forget about how great it would be to be out with your family or water skiing. Be present, focused on the task at hand. This means that you will actually get far more done each day at work, so that you will reach the end of a day, having actually got everything done, which you needed to do that day. So when you leave the office and head home, you really are done for the day and you can go home to spend quality time with your family, where you can be 100 % present too. When you are sitting watching TV with your spouse, you are no longer procrastinating and not doing work related stuff. You are resting, recharging your batteries and spending quality time with the person, who matters most in your life. What could be better?

Being Present invites happiness in

I believe that one of the major reasons why most people struggle to find happiness is because they are never present in the moment. They do not understand that to be happy, is to be present. They do not understand that happiness is really just a state of being, where you are present, living in the moment.

When you are not present, you also never really listen to what people are saying to you. Yes you hear the words, but you can never truly hear what they say. You can never completely absorb the message people are trying to send to you. This can be a huge challenge if you are involved in supporting your customers. You never completely listen to and connect with them.

Distraction gets you through the day

When you are not 100 % present in every moment, where you are instead, locked in a place where you are dreaming about future possibilities or past experiences, you never notice that you are squandering your most valuable possession, namely right now. This means that you float through each day, merely hanging on. Instead of finding ways to get as much as possible from each day, you are left licking your wounds every night, thankful that you got through the day.

Try to learn the art of being always being present. Be where you are 100 %, focus everything in the current moment. Draw as much substance, wealth of experience, productivity and everything on offer from each moment and you will finally get to really live. Truly living is all about being as productive as possible when you work, listening in silence, watching a sunset, investing time with people, who matter and capturing each moment, so that it can become a new part of who and what you are. Life is not something you do; it is something incredible, which you have the privilege to experience, every day. Learn the art of being present; enjoying every moment and you will have mastered the art of living.