“It’s Like This Now”

This is the last excerpt from the meeting I had with Standard Charter Bank execs in Singapore, exploring the several possible meanings of their business slogan, “Here for Good.”

NOW-web2The last connotation I discussed was “Here (and Now) for Good,” emphasizing the fact that we’re always here and now.  We’re actually never “there and then,” although in our minds we often review the past (calling up and rehashing what we call “memories”) and cast ourselves ahead into the future (fantasizing what might happen “there and then”).

It’s not wrong to do what we can do to help insure that the future will be OK for us as individuals and groups.  But that work always is done in the here and now – we shape our futures only in the present.

Living in a time of information overload, multitasking, and all the stress that’s associated with them, there is an urgent need for us to learn to be more mindful about the here and now.  Mindfulness, I argue, is already the next “big thing,” possibly soon to eclipse even the multi-billion dollar international yoga industry.  And while mindfulness can be presented in more or less complex way, the essence of the technique is always the same: just be here, now.

Mindfulness and the acceptance of the present are also the best ways to handle ongoing change.  Figuring out the best way to play the cards we have been dealt on a moment to moment basis requires that we first fully accept the cards we have in our hands in the here and now:  What’s the most skillful way to negotiate the cards I’ve been given so as to maximize “the good” both in the present and for the future?