What “Countdowns” Really Mean


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A few weeks ago, I wrote about Eckhart Tolle’s premise that Judging others and ourselves, Attaching (to things) and Resisting reality (JAR) all lead to unhappiness and that if you eradicate these three things, you will be happy.

Counting down to vacation, the weekend, or the end of the work day are examples of moments when we resist reality. These are opportunities to stop and think: we need to stop resisting our reality, our longing to be elsewhere.

I  used to have a Countdown app. Long story, but I was in a job with a terrible boss. The job would end in 102 days. When I realized this “secret,”- that counting down was the antithesis of living with joy –  I deleted the app and paid attention to my life. I did my best to enjoy every minute of the job, despite this awful boss. And I really began to love it!

Enjoy your present moment. Our lives are made of a chain of present moments, right? One right after another….this  makes up a lifetime.

I was eating lunch with someone. She said, “I wonder what we’ll have for dinner.” Don’t do that. Fully enjoy your lunch. Dinner will happen when it happens. “But I  have to plan it. I have to think about it beforehand, it doesn’t just happen,” you say. True. But while  you eat your lunch, eat your lunch. Enjoy each bite. Being fully present for each bite…realizing when you are full and stopping…this is the best “diet.” When it comes time to plan your dinner, do it. And plan your dinner, but only do that. Be fully present. Be happy.

We were driving to violin lessons today. It’s a 45 minute drive.  The car in front of us was crossing the line and coming back. The car in the other lane could not advance because of this. I thought, “Either this driver is drunk, or texting.” We passed the car and I saw the driver looking at his lap, obviously on his phone. How dangerous! We saw several people driving in this manner.

Multi-tasking is not only the enemy of happiness and excellent work, it can also cost lives.

So do not countdown to the next thing. Do not do two things at the same time. Slow down. Relax. Be mindful. This is the secret to happiness.