12 times per minute. 700 times per hour. 17,000 times every single day. In and out. Inhale exhale.
That’s how many times the average adult person breathes. Automatically. Independent of our attention or oversight.
And that’s how many times each day the greatest lesson in life is hiding literally, under our noses. In the function of our lungs lies the secret to our lives.
Life itself depends upon our next breath. (Feel free here to hold your breath for as long as you can.) Without the life-sustaining nourishment of that next breath, both our physical and mental states begin to spiral. We can feel our life slipping. We spasm in contraction. We confront finality and then….
And then we breathe.
Not out of desire, but because of our design. Because our lungs are only concerned with the present, with right now. The time to breathe is now. Everything else is non-negotiable.
Deep within our DNA, at the very level of life and death, these ancient rules apply. Plainly, we can see nature’s alignment with the present moment, her willingness to wager EVERYTHING IN OUR FUTURE based on her confidence in the now.
What better example could we choose to follow, than that of nature’s own? What better outcome could we hope to experience than achieving absolute confidence in our abilities right now?
Absolute confidence right now.
Not 25 pounds from now. Not once I get the promotion from now. Not people don’t understand me from now.
Just like the last breath you took came so effortlessly and unnoticed, so too comes the new now of opportunity.
Not once I get my degree from now. Not once I make enough money from now. Not other people are luckier than me from now.
If we embrace the concept of self-belief strongly enough, and focus that belief on the singular event of this moment and nothing else, we can say with truth and authenticity, “I am absolutely confident in myself right now.”
Just as the sequence of our breathing creates the condition for our moment-to-moment physical well-being, so too can we create a condition of mental well-being by sustaining a moment-to-moment awareness that now is all I need to contend with.
If we commit to the discipline of being focused on the moment, as our lungs are focused only on our next breath, we are freed from the burdens of our past and fearless against the uncertainties of our future.
It is unavoidable that our peace of mind will be invaded from time to time by the junk, chaos, clutter and confusion of life. Living and thinking in the moment offers us all the relief we need.
In the moment we find the purest form of human endurance, our will to carry on and the courage to catch our breath while at the end of our rope.