F = Fully Present

‘The most important rule in the horses’ code is to pay attention.’ – Carolyn Resnick

The F in IMPACTFUL leadership stands for Fully Present and today we are going to examine what it means to be fully present and living in the NOW.

The great thing about being present and living in the moment is that horses are not concerned with what
happened in the past or what is happening in the future. They have a mindset of now which is predominantly devoid of the fear that many humans have. In today’s modern society it is rare to find people who live in the moment and who are present to their surroundings. In fact most people are so busy worrying about what is happening in their lives – whether that is concerns about the future or ruminating on events of the past – that they fail to notice what is happening around them. For many people this means that they fail to see the opportunities staring them directly in the face.

If you are like me I’m sure you have all experienced a time when you lost something, say your keys. You look high and low and just cannot find them. All the time you are looking for the keys your mind is racing, thinking about the consequences of losing the keys:
how will you start your car to pick up your children from school, how will you get into the house? The permutations are endless. Then eventually, when you resign yourself to the fact that you will never find the keys, they appear as if by magic right in front of you, in a place that you have already searched many times. It is almost as if you were blinded to seeing the keys while you searched for them.

In my opinion, the lack of presence or mindfulness is becoming more of a problem as the fast-paced world we live in becomes more complex. Mobile communications mean that we are often available 24/7 resulting in no time to ‘get away from it all and just be’. We spend more time living in the past or projecting ourselves into the future and so miss the joy and power of being in the present moment. Just think about how many training sessions you have attended physically but when your mind has been elsewhere, answering emails on your phone or just thinking about what else you should be doing at that time.

The great advantage of being present and mindful, focusing on the here and now, means that we are better placed to listen and read situations accurately and to give appropriate responses. Consequently we can communicate and connect more effectively with others as we are able to respond in just the right way at just the right time.  Horses can help us understand just how present and aware we
are at any moment because if we are not present, then we don’t know what is happening around us and so we cannot keep the horse safe from the next threat of attack. If the horse senses our lack of mindfulness he will be forced to step up into the leadership role and take charge of the situation. However, when we are mindful around a horse we are able to reach a deeper connection and receive a lot
more information from him and the environment. Being a leader therefore means that you need to be present and aware at all times so that you can respond appropriately to the different situations that are presented to you.

Mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of your experience as it unfolds and unless you are present you miss what is happening around you.  What are you missing out on?

Extract from Unbridled Success – How The Secret Lives of Horses Can Impact Your Leadership, Teamwork and Communication Skills.  You can purchase the book here from Amazon

On December 5th, 2012, posted in: Fully Present by

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