Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Skydiving and staying present in the moment

Various schools of philosophy preaches the importance of being in the present, to have supreme concentration on the right here and right now.

Those of us who study and practice philosophy know that is far easier read than executed. The mind so easily wanders to either the future or the past; before you’re even done eating dinner, you’re already thinking about what to cook for breakfast tomorrow. The modern world full of distractions certainly compounds the distraction situation, with the smartphone ever attached to us, like an IV drip of a hospital patient.

Having mind and focus on the present is incredibly tough.

I recently heard of an example demonstrating precisely the mental state of being in the present. It has to do with skydiving, and the exact moment a skydiver is about to jump off the airplane. At that time, the area of focus shrinks down to the very point that only concerns with making the jump. The skydiver isn’t thinking about his mortgage payments or that argument he had with a coworker the previous day: his sole concentration is with accomplishing the mission of landing back on the ground, safe and alive.

That’s the exact feeling and mindset of being in the present that we can harness. To be so completely involved in what we’re currently doing that other thoughts can’t possibly enter the brain. Obviously, we shouldn’t need a pretend life-and-death scenario to draw that out of us. Skydiving can be just like any other thing we do on a daily basis, and therefore it’s absolutely possible to give that same amount of focus towards anything.

It takes practice, of course. A lifetime’s worth.

I’m just running in the 90’s.