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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

The Power of Presence: How to Create the Life You Want

If you could wave a magic wand and create the life of your dreams, what would it look and feel like? Who and where would you be? What would you be doing?


When I ask these questions, people typically focus on love, freedom, and security; an ideal partner, the ability to do anything or go anywhere without limitation, quality time with family, an endless flow of money, the pursuit of a future state of being.


Our attention creates our reality.


Alia Crum, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Stanford Mind and Body Lab suggests, “Our minds aren’t passive observers, simply perceiving reality as it is. Our minds actually change reality.” Like the placebo effect, where people get better by simply believing they are being treated for a disease, it got me thinking about the power we have at our disposal to generate abundance – in our work, life, and relationships – and conversely, the chaos we create for ourselves by focusing attention on scarcity and things we cannot control.


What do you want?


In the New York Times bestselling book, Mindset – Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential, professor of psychology, Dr Carol Dweck explains, “When people are in a fixed mindset, they believe that their basic qualities – their intelligence, talents, abilities – are just fixed traits. But when people are in more of a growth mindset, they believe these qualities can be developed through effort, perseverance, good strategies, lots of great input from others.”


Here’s the thing: in a consumption-led society we are conditioned from birth to seek power and fulfilment outside ourselves, to essentially crave what we don’t have. More time, more experiences, more money... more stuff. What is enough?


“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


Do you feel connected to a life you truly want? Do you feel a deep and genuine love for yourself? Is what you desire most born from a sense of purpose and meaning, or fuelled by fear and scarcity? Consider what would happen if instead of trying to control your circumstances, you found ways to surrender and adapt to the present moment... to learn to love what is?


Here’s the thing: creating the life you want has never been about manifestation techniques or the law of attraction but rather, the power of the mind and the focus of your attention. I love this mantra from Thich Nhat Hanh:

“I will practice coming back to the present moment, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past, or letting anxieties, fear or craving pull me out.” What might you discover by being fully present in this moment? What will you create?


Until next time...