I was on the road today, another five hour drive, but this time down to Florida to give a presentation. At 11am, my phone’s calendar alarm went off with an event reminder. I glanced at my phone to read the following:
Are you sure of your perceptions?
Once a month, on the 14th, at 11am, I receive this reminder. It almost always surprises me, and that’s the point–to be taken off guard by this question, and to remind myself of how often the world I am living in is based off of incomplete (and often false) perceptions.
Not a bad reminder for today. I have been running on fumes for a few days now, all leading up to this big presentation. And as is not too unusual, I had worked myself up into quite a state over it. It was great to get a little nudge, somewhere around the halfway mark on my drive down to Florida, that there was a good chance that no matter how I imagined today’s lecture would go, most likely my imagined fears and/or fantasies would be nothing like what would actually take place.
So I used this reminder to help me focus on attending to the moment in front of me, not whatever I’m cooking up in my head.
And the talk went fine. In fact, I think it went well.
But more important than how well the talk went, I made an effort to pay as much attention as I could to what I was doing, while I was doing it. I started to see the whole event in a very different light. I was an invited speaker–sure, they were interested in what I had to say… but more importantly, my talk today (and the talks given by the other two keynotes) provided this group with an opportunity to gather and exchange ideas. That was the really important part of today…not whatever words I managed to pull together.
Yes, yes, I know how selfish that makes me sound–that it is still a revelation, at my age, that I may not be playing as important a role in the world as I am playing in my head….