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Overcoming the Urgent Present

"Sancho, dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry."


This concept comes from Don Quixote de La Mancha when he asks his esquire, Sancho Panza, to help him put on his armor slowly, because he is in a hurry to go battle the windmills. Giving significance to this mantra of slowing down when you are rushing, trying to do too much in too little time, running late, or in some kind of urgency, you will intuitively slow down. Why? When you are in the urgent present you become accident prone and defocused from the objective at hand by the anxiety that you emanate. By slowing down and paying attention to the present, you focus on the moment, and paradoxically become more efficient.


The urgent present has to be explained with the future present grammatical tense which is not used very often in language. It is talking about something that is going to happen in the future that you are considering in the present. A grammatical example of the future present tense : “I will have finished the job by Wednesday.” Using this future present concept, we can create a state of mind as if we were in the future, while we are in the present. This is what I call the future present extrapolation from the grammatical tense to the actual awareness that I am proposing.


Knowing that the brain can function in the as if mode, we can contextualize a future based on the reality we embody. The value of the as if construct is that, while cognition knows when we are in the past, present, or future, the brain responds to the as if time-space we conceptualize. For example, you can go back to a bad memory from your past, and you will have a physiological response as if it were happening in your present. Or you can anticipate something in the future that is pleasant and your physiology will respond as if it were happening in your here-and-now. Consequently, in the scenario of the present, you can experience an as if past or an as if future.


The advantage of the as is future is that you have no archived experience of how the condition will unfold. If you go to the past you have a contextual history biasing what you want to change with what has already happened. But in the future present, you are creating a novel condition with its corresponding physiology.


In a meditative or contemplative state, you can imagine an as if future, and then contextualize the terrain that you want whether it is related to health, relationships, or any challenge you have in your life. Creating a scenario in the future present with physiology responding to a condition waiting to happen. You have a psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) response to something that has not taken place in your external world. A phenomenological back-from-the-future event.


Next, bring the future present experience to your present and begin to act as if it has already happened. Although you have PNI that goes along with your contextualized experience, you need to create evidence for the as if neuromaps to solidify through embodied practice. But you might ask, “How is this future present exercise different from wishful thinking or manifestation?” Wishful thinking is hoping for something that has not been embodied. Manifestation is expecting something that has not been brought into the felt meaning needed to enact change.

Such is the way of Empowerment...


Your invitation to explore hybrid leadership...


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