The basic skill for building meaningful  

relationships and absorbing more of what you’re doing together or is happening in and around you is to be genuinely present. This episode is will help you add more depth into your relationships and performances. Let me know about your thoughts or questions after watching. I’d love to hear them.

In life there’s only connection. Whether you are in a romantic relationship, friendship or professional relationship every connection is connection. There is no such thing as a romantic connection, work connection or any other sort of connection. It’s all one thing and that is the human condition of being linked to one another. We’re connected to one another whether we like it or not. The difference however is made by our awareness of this and how we value these connections in the variety of situations we come across daily. 

Now, for high performers, what I’m about to share, might sound self-evident, but very tricky or even daunting to do at times. Especially for those who are constantly occupied by their thinking or work in challenging and demanding environments. Okay, here’s what it’s about: To excel in any given time and space the high performer needs to invest the full self into the moment. You need to lock in, be present in order to achieve the highest possible standards.

This can be on a professional level but also in private or personal situations. Personally, I thought I was doing this until my youngest son reminded me how distant I am at times. As a father, I want to be there for my kids in every sense of the word and be the greatest dad in the world for them. So, I thought I was performing well by being with my two sons every day; at home, having fun with them, playing football and cycling in the park. I really thought I was investing a huge amount of time in my boys. But my youngest reminded me the other day how much I’m trying to balance work and time with them. He said: dad, you’re always on your phone… dad, you’re always working. Now, I knew I was multitasking at times but it was in that moment that I realized what the quality of my presence was to them. I was spending hours with them daily but I wasn’t really there in the moment as I thought. I wasn’t fully present. My mind sometimes would leave the time and space we were in to go somewhere else and they noticed that. As a father, I want to spend as much possible time with my kids but what’s it worth if I’m only physically present?

For the highest possible standards, even in this situation, I needed to be in the moment, fully. Not just physically and mentally but as a whole. I really thought I there because I was responding correctly on all the cues. I made sure they were safe and that they could have fun. I kicked the ball back and scored goals. I was being a good father but I was clearly not excelling because I was spiritually absent. I needed to focus on what is at hand. I needed to only be in that time and space.

We may think that by just focusing on what is at hand, the here and now, that it’s naive and perhaps even careless. Your concern might be that you’re not doing enough to accomplish other set goals that also needs your attention. Now, Of course, if you know, there is more you need to do, if something else has priority, then please, by all means, get at it and do your thing… but while you are ticking boxes, ask yourself how engaged you are. 

What I’m aiming at here is your presence in a particular moment. You can spend so much time doing your job, meeting deadlines; spend a huge amount of quantity of time with your colleagues, friends or family but still not really be there because you’re on your computer or your mind is somewhere else in the past (thinking about what should’ve been done) or in the future thinking about that thing you need to do. Here’s the question again: You may be physically present but how much are you actually interacting with the people and the things around you? What is the quality of your presence in your various affairs?

What I am talking about here is not the amount of time you spent with someone or something but the merit of a particular connection in time and space. Not the hours you spend with someone or somewhere but how involved you are in the shortest minutes. Even if you’d have little to no time, each moment counts. How are you performing? When you’re physically present (what I’m saying is) choose quality over quantity. Invest your full self into the moment. How? Well, It’s about making sure you’re engaged…making sure that your colleagues, friends, family, partner, pet or whatever thing you’re connected to in a particular moment has your full attention. You lock in, be present in order to achieve the highest possible standards. 

Perhaps, this sounds difficult or challenging to do but it’s as simple as being present with an open mind and a kind heart. What I mean by that is: when you’re present become aware, be receptive and attentive to allow your spirit to embed in the situation. Turn off all distractions or put it away. Being genuinely present is as simple as looking into the eyes of the other person while asking how he/she is doing. 

Allow yourself to listen and muse… free from any opinion. This will not only benefit the other person but because of your genuine attention, you’ll also create deeper connections with the people you interact with. You’ll build more meaningful relationships and absorb more of what you’re doing together or is happening in and around you. 

It’s a skill that might take some training but it’s an incredible and wonderful quality to have for any high performer to be able to invest the full self into the moment. Trust me, doing this will add so much more depth into your relationships and performances. Your audience, clients, friends or family will feel your actual presence even when you’re not in the room when you master this skill. The training is to (first of all) become aware of your spiritual absence in the moment…put away all mental, physical and material distractions, and really be in the here and now. It’s about knowing when the mind has wandered off. Being conscious that you’re away (from wherever you physically are) and coming back to yourself in the here and now or the person or thing you’re with. Whether this be in a conversation with your partner, mother in law, at work during a presentation or a walk with your dog…being present to genuinely connect in that very moment is all that you need to start living the highest possible standards.

So, for this episode, remember this: It’s better to be aware of your connection with others and how you’re involved with them for 5 minutes than spending 5 hours distant in one room together. At first, it might take some effort to refocus your attention but in time it will become effortless.