The title of this article is a bit misleading, because every moment is already perfect and doesn’t need to be improved. But our experience of the moment can be fraught with difficulty, and we have the power to create a new experience in each moment.
The problems we face stem from our narrative about the moment: we are constantly interpreting things in a certain way, so that we don’t even notice that we have this interpretation or narrative.
- If someone hasn’t returned my text message, I might interpret it as meaning that they’re upset with me in some way, and feel hurt.
- When someone asks a question, I can interpret that as a criticism of me, and get bothered by it.
- When I haven’t done all the things on my task list, I can interpret that as another sign that I’m doing things wrong, and feel discouraged and guilty about that.
In any moment, we have a narrative about that moment. A story, an interpretation, an evaluation. And that story will determine our experience.
Here’s the powerful thing we can practice:
- We can drop the story and just experience the moment, exactly as it is; and
- We can create a more powerful story.
Let’s take each of those in turn.