Living in the moment is the key to achieving your goals

So you've always wanted to start a business, write a novel or learn a language - well, what's stopping you? Time, money and family obligations are the usual reasons for putting your dreams on the back burner. But, in fact, the biggest obstacle to your ambition is lack of focus and concentration. One of the prime causes of poor concentration is the tendency people have to fret about the past, or procrastinate over the future: everything except living in the moment and following your dreams right now.

Live in the Moment

A key part of Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, mindfulness is the practice of living in the moment. Contemporary psychologists refer to the concept as 'non-distraction' or 'full engagement' meaning you focus on the present moment instead of allowing your mind to wander. Living in the moment will give you the boost to follow your dream because mindfulness can reduce anxiety about the fears you have about following your ambitions, and it can help you focus upon them.

In the Past: Events past are behind you. Thinking obsessively about them is eating into your present. If you need to take stock, set aside half an hour to think about what you can learn from a past event. Then put it out of your mind completely.

Future Perfect: Your future will only be great if you focus on making your present count. It's no use planning for every eventuality if you don't actually do anything to get the ball rolling. Planning is helpful and prudent but nothing will ever happen unless you act.

Ground yourself: If you feel your attention wandering imagine thin, flexible streams of light anchoring you to the ground, like roots. See these roots bringing you back to the present and keeping you grounded. The roots do not restrict you but they stop your mind floating off and keep you anchored to the present.

How to achieve your goal and follow your dreams

Your Vision
Living in the moment is not about charging forward without thinking. Part of learning to concentrate on a task is about forming a firm idea of what you want to achieve then focusing on this goal. Narrow down your vision. Ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal? What do you hope to gain in the long term?



Talk & Listen
Talk to family and friends about your goal. You might find they have been wondering why you haven't used your talent already. If the reaction is not encouraging, perhaps have a rethink about your focus: could you tweak your idea slightly? But don't let one or two negative voices dissuade you from a goal you have your heart set upon.
It might be useful to get a fresh perspective from a professional in your chosen field. Or try a psychic reading to give you the clarity you need to focus on a specific goal.

Make Time
If you want something enough, you will make time to do it. Even if you can devote only half an hour per day to you goal, it is worthwhile, especially if that time is totally focused and mindful of your goal. Half an hour of mindful work can be worth as much as a whole day of procrastinating.

Money Issues
Lack of funds is a prime excuse for not following your dreams. But if you do your research and are prepared to work hard, you can think your way around most money issues. Start small and think of clever ways to cut costs. With so much free information online, the chance to exchange ideas and ask for advice from others in your sector has never been easier.

Actions Speak Louder
Sometimes you have to take a calculated risk to achieve your dreams. So live in the moment and act now!

Try this concentration technique

If you find your mind wandering from the task in hand bring your attention back to the present with this easy trick.

The first stage is awareness. You need to realise that your concentration is broken. Sounds simple but when you mentally begin planning the grocery shopping, while thinking about a work problem and worrying about what time to put dinner in the oven: it may take a minute to stop your mind whirring.

Once you have awareness, instead of feeling guilty about your lack of concentration: take a mental pause.

Look at the tip of your thumb, or the tip of a pen you are holding. Focus all your attention on this point. Let your mind empty as you focus on the pen or thumb tip.

As your mind becomes clear, take your attention back to the task you need to focus upon.

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