I think most of us can agree that one of the biggest sources of stress in our lives is worrying. For the most part, we worry about the future. We worry about tomorrow. We worry about how we will deal with something that is either coming in the future, or that we suspect will happen in the future.
And that’s important to note, because often, we find out that what we were worried about happening, never did.
I recently linked to an interview that Kobe Bryant did shortly before he passed away. It’s a great interview on many topics, one of which was playing for legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson. Phil is known to be pretty quirky, and Kobe was discussing some of the ‘odd’ things that Phil would do during practices, teaching breathing exercises, having meditation sessions, holding certain poses to release stress, etc. Kobe said that at first he thought all this was crazy, but then he noticed that Phil had completely bought into these teachings, so he decided to give it a try. Kobe said that he eventually realized that what Phil was teaching the team was how to live and play in the moment. Don’t worry about what will happen in 5 minutes, focus on running and executing the current play to the best of your ability. Kobe added that if you watch Phil’s Lakers teams or his Bulls teams with Jordan, that they never get rattled at the end of the game. They are always focused on the moment and they don’t let what could come next overwhelm them.
These comments reminded me of what Alabama football coach Nick Saban says he always stresses to his players. He says that he tells his players that “every play has a life of its own” and to never look at the scoreboard. He teaches his players to execute each play to the best of your ability, then immediately drop it and go to the next play. By doing this, he’s teaching his players not to focus on the last play or what they need to do on the next play. Focus on THIS play. Focus on the moment.
My uncle has a condominium near the beach, and every time I visit, I always look forward to walking on a nearby beach. It’s incredibly relaxing for me. In thinking about what Kobe and Saban said about ‘playing in the moment’, I realized that when I walk on the beach, I completely focus on the water. Watching it come in, watching it go out. In other words, completely living in the moment. So I’ve been trying to do more of that in my day to day life, focusing more on what I can do today, versus worrying about what will happen tomorrow if I don’t do what I need to do today.
So that’s what I plan on doing from now on, focusing more on the walk on the beach, and worrying less about how I will get home.