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Why the Present Moment is Crucial to a Meaningful Life: Exploring iPEC Principle #2

Living in the moment is something many of us struggle with. I know that I often find myself spacing out a perfectly enjoyable moment because I’m thinking about what to make for dinner or worried about how my meeting with a client when the night before.

It’s no wonder why I chose Principle 2 for my first post in the rules for living a meaningful life according to iPEC series. The principle states: Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.

Pretty heavy, huh? Every single moment of our lives is an opportunity. And, if you’re like most people, you end up wasting a vast majority of them. We all have a good idea of who we want to be in the broader sense. ‘I want to be a good parent’ or ‘I want to run a successful company’. But that’s not what this principle is referring to. To help clear up the matter, let me give you an example.

You’re sitting in a waiting room, preparing to see a doctor or your financial planner or your hair stylist (you get the picture). Next to you is a woman who appears to be about ready to cry. In this moment, you have a choice of who you want to be.

If you ignore the woman and bury your head in a magazine or glue your eyes to your smartphone, you’ve decided to either be a person who isn’t really interested in a fellow human being who appears to be suffering, or who is too fearful of saying the wrong thing or intruding that you avoid the interaction.

If you put your stuff away, make eye contact, and ask if everything is okay, you’ve decided to be a caring individual who is truly concerned for others, or who doesn’t allow their fears to get in the way of possibly lending help.

Will you even remember this moment a month from now? Two years from now? Well, I can guarantee you that if you made the first choice, you won’t. In fact, you’ll probably forget the woman even existed by the time you leave your appointment.

If you choose option two, it’s entirely possible the woman will say she’s fine and that will be the end of it. You may forget about her quickly and move on with your day. Or she may truly appreciate the gesture and start a conversation that has a long-lasting effect on both of you. Her reaction is not really the point here. The point is that if you continue to choose, moment after moment, to be the person you really want to be, you will become that person.

Not only that, but you will start to recognize the power that comes with living in the moment. You’ll realize that every small decision you make not only enhances or detracts from your enjoyment of the present moment, but it also adds up to a much greater whole.

As you move through your life for the next couple of weeks, take short breaks where you just take in your surroundings, check in with how you feel, and identify any opportunities for growth that may be presented to you. If something does grab your attention, ask yourself how different decisions would affect the type of person you are. As you continue to practice, you’ll start to naturally become more aware on your journey.

Please join me next time as we discuss Principle 4: Our level of true awareness is directly related to our lack of judging.


Trish Cody has over 18 years of experience consulting with some of the world’s top Fortune 500 Companies. Today, as an ICF and iPEC Certified Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, clearly see how they are showing up in their behaviors and impacting their success, and to shift their thinking to naturally attract positivity and success. For more information, visit

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