Being PresentHave you ever driven home and forgot how you got there? We all struggle with being present.

I remember driving my friend to the airport a while back. I went the wrong way on the interstate (it was in the direction of my daily commute at the time). Luckily, for both of us, she was still able to catch her flight!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”

I love this quote because it is so simple yet so true.  If you don’t pay attention you will live life on autopilot. Autopilot leaves you numb to joy, numb to passion and numb to the life that you were born to live.

If you’re ready to flip off autopilot, below are a few tips to help – from someone who spent more time then she’s like to admit on autopilot.

1.  Claim Your Plane: Your mind is the plane that will take you to your dreams.  Everything starts with a thought.  In life there are many things you can’t control like your situation and other people but what you let into your mind and the people you let into your thought life you can control.

2.  Be the Pilot for Your Own Life: The good news is that you are the one who put yourself on autopilot and you can take yourself off.  Start by accepting responsibility for your thoughts by DECIDING to think about what you’re thinking aboutGeorge Orwell in his book 1984 says it best “Nothing was (is) your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.”

3.  Only Take One Carry On: Everyone has hurts, hang-ups and issues from life.  That is just part of being human.  You can’t feel joy without feeling pain.  YOU decide what you want to take away from your life experiences. When you pack your carry on put what made you grow into your suitcase – like the memories that taught you wisdom, compassion and joy.  And leave the grudges, the unforgiveness, who others think you should be behind.  All it will do is weigh you down.

How will you apply these tips to your life today to be more present?

Copyright 2013-2015, Mary R. Miller Author of “The Birth of a Dream Catalyst: Unlocking the Dream from Within”