“A man lies dying in a hospital bed. He has spent his entire life building for the future, doing what needed to be done to amass wealth and raise his status to a level he thought worthy. Now he has reached the end of his days and finds himself filled with remorse rather than satisfaction.
In his final moments, he turns to his doctor and says, “I spent my whole life stepping on people in order to get to where I want to be, and now there’s no one left for me. It’s only now that I realize it’s so simple. It’s who you love and how you love and the rest of it, the rest of it never mattered.”
That is a powerful lesson, yet he has little time left to make use of it.
He came to clarity at the end of his life; what if you could get this clarity now?”
Grounded in science, psychology and a modern twist on ancient practices, The Now Effect is a book about training our minds to see the “aha” moments of clarity and choice that are all around us. Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, MD once said, “In between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response and in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” The fact is an awareness of that space could change the rest of your life. That’s the promise that millions of people, including professionals in mental health, medicine, business, sports, and even politics have begun to realize.
It’s not news that most of the time we live in a state of auto-pilot where our brain is making rapid fire decisions beneath our awareness. After an event occurs, the brain reaches back into its reference bank of memories and experiences to make a judgment call on what to do next. For most of us, after that snap judgment, autopilot kicks in and carries us into an unintentional habitual pattern of thinking and living.
“The way you wake up in the morning, do your work, eat your food, interact with your digital devices and engage with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers over time all become routine. Our brains ability to make things automatic enables us to function, but when life itself becomes routine, we miss out on the choices, possibilities and wonders all around us.” ~ The Now Effect
It makes sense. Our brains are designed to handle an increasing amount of complex information and as more avenues of information have become available (e.g., PDAs, internet, etc.), our brains adapt and we can’t help but live in shallow noisy waters and lack a sense of depth of what is most important. It’s not really our fault; our brains have adapted to handle the complexity of modern day life.
But as we begin to train our minds to see the spaces of choice in our lives and meet them with mindfulness, we can literally rewire a healthier brain and change the way we think before we think.
Recent neuroscience (woven throughout the book) and thousands of personal stories show us this is real and powerful. We can reconnect to what matters, break free from the limiting stories in our minds, rewire a stronger and healthier brain, incline our minds toward the good in life and even learn how to relate to our difficult feelings differently to realize an emotional freedom from the confines of our habitual thoughts and reactions.
You could say this is a book about the practical applications of mindfulness with a twist as it has the philosophy and practices (including tags to instructional videos) woven throughout it. However, I’ve written this book to more specifically prime our minds to that very moment where someone gets in touch with what truly matters and then has a choice to respond. The most skillful response may then be to choose to apply mindfulness.
To give you the best opportunity to apply these teachings and practices in your life I created the Free Now Effect Community with the option of daily now moments delivered to your inbox, a weekly offering of teaching, videos and event updates and a free live online event to go over some of the teachings, practices and answer some of your important questions.
This book is an opportunity to unlock the confines of your mind and begin a playful adventure. You will soon see the doorway into the space of awareness that might have seemed so elusive before. It’s through these spaces that you will realize the Now Effect and begin to change the rest of your life.
Before you move on with your day consider this:
As you’re reading these words you are living in a space between where you were previously and where you’re about to be.
What is most important for you to be paying attention to in this next moment? Recognize right now that you have a choice onto where you can intentionally place your attention.
May you enjoy more of the Now Effect in your life.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.