Focus and the power of presence

Focus and the power of presence

by Miguel Franco


One of the greatest challenges we have in modern life is staying focused on our desired objectives, which are not always clear and often results in fragmentation. For example, in business our objectives could be anything from having an idea, developing a working prototype, testing it out and getting funded, to hiring top talent and building a successful organization. Whether it is a personal or professional objective, we all have to manage stress, stay healthy, have time for family and friends, and keep motivated to inspire and lead others when necessary.

But focus alone is not enough to succeed. Many share a perspective that success is doing what we love and loving what we do, but this can also be a challenge. We may love what we do but not always love what we have to do. There may be some aspects to the work that we dislike or are not skilled at, which create resistance and can affect our levels of happiness and productivity. This is why it is so important to develop and cultivate what I call presence, a state of consciousness that is essential for success and happiness.

Presence is the ability to be aware of how our thoughts and feelings impact our actions and reactions. We can develop this ability by paying attention to our energy levels. For example, if we need to do a presentation to a potential investor, client or to our team and are feeling distracted or overwhelmed for whatever reason, we have to find a way to quickly regroup our thoughts and feelings if we want to effectively deliver an impactful message. How many times have you been in a meeting where your mind was elsewhere? When we are fully present we become better listeners and communicators and more able to observe multiple perspectives without judgment. We also let go of our attachment to outcomes and focus on making choices that are appropriate instead.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could experience more presence in our lives? All that is required is a better understanding of how our thoughts and feelings affect us. And by doing so, we increase our resilience and are able to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks that go hand in hand with creativity.

Our environments are another area where practicing presence is important. Do we really pay attention to what’s going on around us? For example, when we drive are we paying attention to the scenery and the road, or are we just on automatic pilot? When doing the groceries, are we thoughtfully thinking about what we are buying or just putting anything in our shopping cart as we check our phones? Do we appreciate nature or are we too busy tweeting? When at the gym, are we connecting with our bodies or thinking about our projects?

We can also be more present with our relationships. When we interact with others, do we pay attention to the flow and exchange of information or are we just going through the motions? Are we fully engaged with our kid’s homework or thinking about expanding the business? Are we sneaking into the bathroom to check emails at social gatherings? Are we paying attention to the feedback our clients are giving us or thinking about an strategy on how to up sell to them? 

Have you ever found yourself obsessively crafting an argument in your mind, rehearsing your strikes and counterstrikes? How did it feel? Did it feel like love or anger? Understanding or aggression? Expansion or being consumed? When our attention is on defending our position to prove who’s right or wrong, we become trapped in a win-lose mindset and are not present enough to evaluate the best options for all involved. By being present, we learn to give our undivided attention to others while being clear and more authentic with the exchange, which not only minimizes resistance and misunderstandings but can also create exciting new possibilities. When fully present we are more open and receptive, we become better listeners, better communicators, faster learners and make decisions with greater levels of certainty. Clarity prevails. Intuition soars. Creativity explodes. And we relax into the moment.

As we become more present with ourselves, with others and with our environments and circumstances, we also become more present with our work and daily routines, and start to see everything as an opportunity for growth and expansion. As we fully embrace the “what is” of each moment, we create a positive expectation for “what is next”. When “what is next” becomes “what is”, a new cycle begins. Life and work become a continuous flow of consciousness. Instead of seeing work and personal life as separate, we harmonize and integrate our experiences and feel less fragmented. The journey is the destination and every moment becomes an opportunity to appreciate the gift of being alive, even when we get stuck or sick.  

When we are present and connected we experience boldness, a state which encompasses high levels of confidence, certainty, clarity and desire. With these attributes fully present in our psyche, breakthroughs happen in our personal and professional lives. When we achieve and sustain a state of consciousness based on presence and boldness, we are more likely to create high energy environments. Breakthroughs become a regular occurrence as well as joyful collaborations with others.

Conscious creators that cultivate the presence of Love as a leadership style tend to feel more compassionate and appreciative towards themselves and others. They are better able to handle the inevitable ups and downs that come their way. By being focused and present, we can consciously lead with wisdom, love and integrity, and thrive!


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