I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” I was wondering how I could begin to introduce some of my thoughts on the book to my kungfu class. I then thought to ask a simple question; “where are you now?”
Tolle differentiates between clock time and psychological time. I was beginning to wonder, if we are always in "the now” what happens to goal setting. He places goal setting in “clock time”. Remember when you asked me the question about happiness and I answered “when I am …”, I was in psychological time, and I have been living in the “future”. I remember saying to a friend that I missed 15 years of my life because I was always thinking about “when I get … then …”. I had anchored happiness to an ego need (to have my masters degree, or to own a BMW Z4 and so on).
It is okay to have goals, moreover I believe that goal orientation was (anthropologically speaking) a survival necessity. But when we attach ego needs to our goals fear enters into the equation. The lion does not feel fear when searching for its prey, even when there is little prey to be found. As Tolle says, when our goals are attached to ego needs, the “now” becomes a stepping stone to the future, whereas we should be fully present in the “now” and our goals (“clock time”) should be peripheral. I miss so much because the “now” is just a stepping stone in the race to the future (and before we know it the future is the past and we’re thinking “how time flies”. I was cycling this morning, and thankfully we were present enough to take in the beauty of the sunrise, but we could have been thinking “I must (ought to) ride faster because I must win”.
Anyway, back to “where are you now?”… Where are you now? Are you thinking about what you must do in order to get this or that? Are you thinking about what you have done and worrying about this or that? Where are you now is a powerful question.