HOW PRESENT ARE YOU?
The following are 20 reflection questions to assess how present are you are in daily life. It is important that we ask them in a spirit of curiosity rather than judgement. What is important is not how many “yeses” or “noes” we had but how well they help us notice patterns which might help us be more present in the future.
1. I have a tendency to live in the future, projecting into tomorrow, or next week or even years from now.
2. I spend much of my time thinking about the past, replaying conversations or reliving incidents or events, or I play “what if” in my mind.
3. Sometimes when I’m in conversation with someone, I can’t remember what was just said.
4. When eating a meal, my family often watches TV or videos or reads.
5. In talking with someone, I think of how I’m going to respond rather than listening to what the other person is saying.
6. I tend to worry.
7. I try to figure out how things will work out or what someone else will do.
8. I allow my cell phone to interrupt whatever I’m doing.
9. I often/frequently hope for something better or different.
10. I often/frequently worry that something worse will happen.
11. I find myself always busy, with never an empty or spare moment.
12. When I am feeling uncomfortable in a situation, I change the subject or get up and move around, or get something to eat/drink/smoke/do.
13. In some situations, I find myself getting sleepy or yawning when I’m not really tired.
14. I find it difficult to maintain eye contact when I’m talking with someone.
15. Sometimes I can’t remember what I just read or I don’t know what just took place in the movie or video I’m watching.
16. When I’m with certain people, we talk about others (gossiping, discussing shortcomings or talking about their problems).
17. I take my cell phone everywhere and it’s always on.
18. My conversations with others tend to be about superficial subjects.
19. Rather than staying with my emotions and naming them (“I am feeling…”), I attempt to alter the feelings.
20. In my family or with my partner, we watch TV programs that we don’t really care about rather than interact with each other.
I love the wisdom of the Dalai Lama who said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”