What is a moment?
Moments can be classified as thoughts, reflections, interpersonal experiences, observations, and epiphanies.
For something to be considered a moment, it must meet two criteria:
- It is an instance that utilizes time to occur.
- It has intrinsic value to those who create, observe, are affected by or involved in a particular experience.
What does it take to embrace a moment?
Embracing moments requires a few criteria be met by the embracer:
- Present Contention – remaining grounded and expressing compassion towards experiences.
- Stillness of Mind – keeping thoughts focused and unwandering from experiences as they occur.
- Desire to Absorb – maintaining a consistent thirst for understanding of the experiences that you deem significant.
- Unwavering Appreciation – expressing gratitude towards people, perspectives and occurrences that contribute to your unique experiences.
- Emotional Flexibility – practicing fluidity and optimism in emotional state as unique and sometimes unexpected experiences present themselves.
Why do we feel that moments are fleeting?
Our world moves fast and there are endless opportunities to allocate our attention. As a result of this opportunity, we overwhelmingly direct our attention forward, rather than towards what is immediately in front of us: in front of our eyes, ears, minds and our hearts as passions. This forward thinking places value on what is to come, rather than what is here now.
As a result of living life with this worldview, it is not uncommon to ponder the question: where does the significance in life lie? Since it’s not unreasonable for one to assume that something will result of time spent.
Where does the significance in moments lie?
As one who has found value and purpose in the things that have come, I believe that significance in life is drawn from the individual moments that make it up.
When we don’t take the time to stop, appreciate, absorb and admire the life that we live and the holistic array of experiences that make up our time, time passes with little significance. The moment, no matter how important, will fleet from us unless we are mindful and recognize that each unique experience should have unique value placed upon it.
So, how do we learn to place value on each moment?
There is no secret formula. However, I have learned from my own experience that the following the below 5 steps is a good starting point.
First, learn to Be – stop thoughts from wandering away from the Now.
Second, learn to Reflect – focus attention on the things that are in the present, as everything has meaning and is in some way personally valuable.
Third, learn to Appreciate – perceive and find joy in the value placed on each moment by ourselves and by others.
Fourth, learn to Empathize – recognize and embrace the contributing forces that make moments significant to others.
Fifth, learn to Displace Expectation – allow unique moments to develop, and over time, seek to understand behaviors and actions that more often result in personally significant moments.
Observing and placing unique value on moments brings more fulfillment and meaning to the experiences that make up life. This practice enables you to create an inventory of your own positive experiences.
Suddenly, instead of living with the expectation that significance is around the corner, you live with the knowledge that significance is part of every moment. With this worldview, it is simply a matter of opening up your eyes, ears, mind and heart to recognize significance in moments and allow passion to direct your actions. Living this way allows positive and productive appreciation for all the moments that will inevitably make up the future, and truly increases the richness of the life that you live.