Think about how often you engage in an activity with the goal of finishing. Washing dishes. Cleaning the bathroom. Mowing the Lawn. Eating breakfast. Getting a degree. We often engage in our activities with the focus on finishing and while we’re working on the task our attention is on what we’re planning do to when we’re done. In essence, our mind is one step ahead of our life.
The problem, as you can see, is that if our mind is always one (or more) steps ahead, we never fully participate in our life at this very moment. We assume the point is to finish (and maybe finish first, or finish quickly) so we miss the actual experience of the activity itself. In this wonderful little animation, Alan Watts points out that the goal isn’t to get to the end of the composition. The goal is to sing and dance to the music. Of course we know this, but how often do we forget as we get overwhelmed with life and rush from one task to another, trying to check off all the items on our to-do list.Tags: Action Attention Getting Things Done Mindfulness video Zen