The Most Precious Moment: Attend!


A moment is a speck in time. Why precious? Because it is fleeting and cannot be recovered.

What is time? Time is a measure of experience, as all experience is the result of change. All experience is based on a moment-to-moment transition or change. We can choose to be aware of these changes, or not, as our attention dictates. It is all too often easier to ignore the passing of the “speck in time.”

Our consciousness can be aware in only this present moment. Every other thought is either in the past, as memory; or in the future, as projected plan, as an expectation or as a fantasy.

We do well to remember that there are only a certain number of moments in a given lifetime. And if, as some of us believe, life is a time of learning and experiencing the wonder, the mystery and the excitement found in the treasures the natural world has to offer, why waste any time on mind-sedating trivial entertainment?

Our present civilization, worldwide, makes distraction — the opposite of focus — the overriding temptation to waste many hundreds of moments throughout the day.

The first step to awakening to the moment is recognition of the challenge to become mindfully aware of each conscious moment.

Having become aware, and accepting of this challenge, we stumble over our uncertainty to be able to maintain focus on the moment. Here is where the conscious, truly conscientious, decision comes into play. Whether we are young or “old,” we can determine the focus of our attention.

Let’s make an observation: A child at play. He or she, completely absorbed in play or, frequently, a video game, loses all sense of time passing. That, for better or sometimes worse, is the hallmark of true focus. When we mentally focus, and whole-mindedly attend the immediate moment, we lose sense of time. We follow the change of events without considering time passing. So does the adult, active in an all-absorbing activity, lose sense of time. On the other hand, in a time-sensitive activity, the child or adult is acutely aware of the rate or speed of change, and therefore urges her or his attention to focus intensely on the project at hand. Students’ tests, surgeons’ operations, the sequential discipline of building a bridge, or sending a missile into space — all are instances of vital focus.

How do we achieve such focus in everyday life?

  • Determine that each moment is valuable, no matter what the activity.
  • We choose that activity which is valuable to us. Often, the activity chooses us, as in a job that is not always to our liking or matched to our expectations. But whatever it is, from the most menial to the most exacting research, the challenge of the moment is the same: To do the absolute best.
  • We have accepted the challenge of focusing on each moment. Next is our choice of focus. And this, dear reader, is a choice made by each of us on a daily basis. It requires our consideration of personal short-term, and long-term goals. These are derived only by assessing the importance of each.

Therefore, we return to the initial challenge of recognizing that life consists of a finite number of moments. It is up to each of us to determine how precious each moment is in reaching our goals. It is moments embraced and cherished for their contribution to manifesting all dreams. Hence, may the realization of your dreams, your destiny, come true!

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