The Most Important Skill You Can Develop

It’s uncomfortable to think of ourselves as machines even though that’s essentially what we are. We wake up every day and execute a program which has been written by our past and the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

We take the risks our programming tells us that we can afford to take, we feel the way our programming tells us that we should feel about our bodies and our accomplishments and ourselves, we say the things that our programming tells us are acceptable to say.

Once we’re old enough for this programming to be embedded, most of us never seriously consider doing anything which runs counter to it for the rest of our lives.

The only tool we have for hacking this programming is our attention. The more the programming takes over, the more time we spend operating on autopilot, the less attention we are bringing to the present moment. This is the entire reason that “being present” is considered important.

Being present gives us options. It helps us to be more human because it gives us the chance to choose our actions rather than following a program that was written, perhaps decades ago.

Best of all, we can get better at being present. We can develop our attention just as we develop any other skill. Just as with any other skill, progress can be difficult, to begin with, but it’s no exaggeration to say that there’s no more valuable investment of our time.