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  • Colin Jonov

Live Intentionally: Master the Present Moment

Dear Fortitude family,

Welcome back to my midweek motivation! Each day and week brings its own set of experiences and inspirations, compelling me to share my thoughts with all of you.

The best athletes in the world and the most joyful people are masters of living in the present moment. Well, what does that really mean? It means they are able to live with intention in the exact moment they are in, without letting the past or distant future dictate their behaviors and mood. They are focused on this moment in time with all their attention. It’s fair to question how this impacts mood or performance. If you are always looking at what has happened in the past or what is coming next in the future, then you can never truly appreciate what is right in front of you. When we allow our minds to wander away from today, we neglect the opportunities and people with us now. One thing is certain: the time we spend on earth is finite. The people we share memories with won’t be with us forever. The game we play won’t always be here. So, the real question becomes: why would being anywhere other than where your feet are bring anything other than misery?

The more granular you can get, the more control over the present you have; this day, this game, this rep, this moment. Can you truly focus on this pitch? Can you block out the concern of swinging and missing? Can you block out the outside world? Can you truly be with the people next to you? When you bring awareness to the forefront of your mind that the only thing guaranteed is the moment you’re in, then it unlocks your ability to make the best decision right now. Not one second in the future is guaranteed. When you can understand that, you’ll recognize your greatest opportunity for impact in your own life is right this second. Then you’ll start to become a master of the present. You’ll start to drive action. It’s dangerous to live with the mindset of “I’ll get to it tomorrow,” “Once I get X then I’ll be happy,” or “Man, I can’t wait for this workout to be over.” The harsh truth is this may be the only day and opportunity you get in life. So why not put all of your energy into making it the most valuable moment of your life?

I get it. Some of our present moments are miserable. However, there’s this saying my guest John Petrishen said on the Athletic Fortitude Show this past week that I can’t get out of my head: “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise man grows it at his feet.” The current moment is the only moment you have. When I was fresh off my third knee surgery and my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, I’m not sure there was a moment in my life where I had experienced more physical and emotional pain than that day. But I knew I had a choice. I could wish the pain away. I could wish the time away. Or I could take that pain and do something with it. I channeled that pain and sadness into action that moved me forward in life. I reflected on all the lessons my grandfather taught me. I reflected on who he was and what I admired about him. I made the conscious choice to bring those things to light and try to emulate them in my own life. I used the time with my knee to be more present with my business, wife, and daughter. I knew it was time I wasn’t guaranteed to have. I knew I could either waste that time away or use it. I chose to grow it at my feet. There’s no guarantee the future is any better than the present. I wanted to make the most of it.

So, how do we become more mindful of the present moment? That’s a great question. The answer has multiple layers. To increase my awareness of the present, I do multiple exercises. I do breathwork, gratitude journaling, and reading. All these things are fantastic for bringing your mind to reflect and refocus. However, the most important element to me is our internal dialogue. Now, those other exercises will increase our internal dialogue skills. However, our awareness of our thoughts will dictate our behaviors. We are constantly communicating with ourselves, whether we realize it or not. To become more present, we need to consciously recognize when our mind is drifting into the past or future, when our mind is being ungrateful, and when our mind is lying to us. So, when we are in our thoughts, we need to pause, unpack them, and redirect them to the opportunity in front of us. It’s simple in theory but hard in practice. Nonetheless, with an immense amount of practice, we can become masters of our present moment. When you spend time with the elderly in the last few holes of their life, you never hear them say, “I wish I had less time.” It’s the opposite. Everyone wants more time. Use the moments you’re blessed to have and make the most of them because one day there will be no more moments. Let the concerns of tomorrow go. Maximize today. Become a conqueror of your life.

To Building Fortitude.

Warm regards,

Colin Jonov CEO & Founder, Athletic Fortitude

P.S: If you’ve been enjoying our newsletter and finding it valuable, we would greatly appreciate it if you could forward it to your friends, family, or teammates who you think would benefit from it. By spreading the word, you’ll be helping us reach more people who can benefit from our shared knowledge and insights!

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