Emmie Brown Blog

Be Present

The fourth step to winning the season is to be present.

So last year we had our very first team leader training in Arizona. That team leader training in Scottsdale, Arizona was the first week that I had scheduled to be back from my two-month long maternity leave.  I didn’t want to be away from my daughter the whole first week, so I packed up the kids and nanny and brought them out to Scottsdale too.

We decided to make a family vacation for that week. We spent a couple extra days there on the front end and built in all kinds of fun activities, like going to this really cool little train park. I wanted to build memories into that trip so it wasn’t just a work trip. We always try to do a little pleasure with our business and make it fun. So we were flying back on the plane from that several day trip to Arizona and I was sitting beside Dawson. We ordered our snacks and we got our drinks, then I asked Dawson, “What was your favorite part of this whole trip?” And he said, “Mommy, my favorite part is the Sprite.”

I shouldn’t have put so much pressure on myself to do all this stuff, right?

Have you ever noticed how kids live completely in the present? They’re not worried about the future. They’re not thinking about their mistakes from the past. They are just in the present, but us grownups, we’re different! I mentioned in an earlier post how my kids have been sick for like eight weeks straight and just constantly up every single night. One night, I was up in the middle of the night with Cadence. She just yakked all over the room in her crib and I was rocking her. As I’m sitting there, just holding her in my arms and rocking her, I caught myself drifting off to role-playing a work conversation in my brain.

So I’m sitting there role-playing this difficult conversation that I knew was going to happen. I’m thinking about that and I had to catch myself, thinking, “This is not the time that is scheduled to be at work!” Like I am here with my baby girl. She’s only going to be a baby for a brief time. I’m only going to be rocking her in the middle of the night for so long. I need to be present; I need to enjoy this moment. For me, I have to catch myself so that I am present and I’m not drifting off thinking about other things. Actually, I had to force myself to be present and I’m going to share with you a few tips for how to do that.

Number one: work an intentional schedule.

Actually plan your personal time, your professional time, build it in. When you schedule time to work, work and when you schedule time to not work, when you want to be with your family, be with your family. When you schedule time to exercise, exercise. Let’s do what you put on the piece of paper. Be present, be there. Don’t be somewhere else. If you work when you’re supposed to work, you don’t have to bring it home with you. The only way you bring it home with you is if you don’t get done what you need to do during the day. I love my kids way too much to be wasting my time away from them doing stuff I’m not supposed to be doing. If I’m going to be away from them, I use that time well. Work an intentional schedule.

The second thing is, if you haven’t already, get rid of all your notifications on your computer that distract you during the day.

Get rid of the notifications on your phone that wake you up in the middle of the night. Get rid of all the social media notifications that cause you to compare yourself to other people. You don’t need it. We live in such a distracted world so give yourself that gift of not being distracted, but being fully present.

The third thing is to practice power breaths or combat breathing.

So police, emergency rescue personnel, athletes, they’re all taught how to breathe in a way that relaxes them and gets them back to the present. They’re taught to breathe in until the count of four, hold for four, and then breathe out for a count of four. That causes them to take the mind from wherever it was and get their mind to where it needs to be.

Number four: look up and smile.

It’s actually physically impossible to be worried about something else. When you do that, it’s impossible to think negative thoughts when you look up and smile. Typically, if we’re not present in the moment and enjoying where we are, we’re worrying about something that has yet to come or we’re thinking about something that has happened in the past that we don’t feel good about, right? It’s impossible to be thinking about those things when we’re smiling. Smile. It changes your state immediately.

We all have a desire to win. Winning is a daily discipline. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. So I challenge you to really process what is the season of life that I’m in? Identify it. Know the seasons that you’re in and what you’re dealing with. Define the win. Make sure you walk away from here with goals that are really yours, that aren’t just goals that you’re turning in to please somebody else or goals that you’re putting down because you’re comfortable with them.

You put down what you really want, what a win will really look like for you. Make sure that it’s specific enough so that you know how you’re going to hit it. Leave here thinking long, having a long-term perspective, and decide that you’re not going to be worrying about the future or thinking about taking your past and projecting it into your future, but you are going to live in the present every single moment.

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