Parking the future and the past
I once coached a cricketer who had a goal of regaining his place on a high-ranking team. His major insight was this; being 100% ‘present’ at the crease is the only thing that would get him there. Nothing else other than his best performance, moment to moment at the crease, would get him back on the team.
Focusing on the past or the future takes us away from the opportunity of now. It’s useful in terms of learning from the past or envisioning the future we want, and yet it’s bringing those insights back to the now where we actually do the building and creating.
Facing illness has the potential to amplify a past or future focus, and not always in a good way.
- “If only I had done XYZ when I was younger” = regret (lack focus)
- “All the things I wanted to do, and now I’m scared I never will” = anxiety (lack focus)
At the same time it provides urgency to be in the moment, appreciate what is and engage fully. This was very much part of my experience. I was being told that I may not have a future beyond three years and I may not be functional beyond six months – strangely, from this it became easier to be ‘present’!
About these strategies
Welcome. These strategies are for people who’ve been diagnosed with a terminal or life threatening illness. If that’s you, I’m sharing them because I know something about what you’re going through, they helped me and so maybe they can help you too.