How To Pay Attention to the Beauty in Front of You

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This is a guest post by Jeff Goins from goinswriter.com. I met Jeff online after I saw that he, a man, spoke at Blissdom in 2012. Whenever they invite a man to speak at a women’s conference I pay attention. I’m glad I did because I got to know Jeff, learn from him and watch as his blog grew like crazy. Jeff just released a new book, The In-Between, which I had the honor of endorsing. Check it out at inbetweenbook.com!

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you just might miss it.”
—Ferriss Bueller

I have wasted years of my life and a lot of energy trying to get rid of the mess. To perfect imperfections. To fix the frayed and tattered ends of my life that never seemed to resolve. And I’m finally giving up.

Only recently have I learned how pointless the pursuit of perfection is. Since the birth of my son, I’ve realized something: All these seemingly ordinary moments, the less-than-remarkable times and things, are all we have.

So if that’s true, what do we do? How do embrace where we are, no matter where that is?

 

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First, we must let go.

 

It took ushering a new life into the world (with the help of my wife, of course) to grasp the reality that I’m not in control. There is great freedom in acknowledging we can’t control every detail. Because a mess-less life is no life at all.

 

The word “perfect” means complete, as in not lacking anything. My desk may be cluttered, my waist might be bulging, and my calendar may be full, but what am I lacking? Maybe nothing. Maybe what I have right now, as ordinary as it feels, is enough.

 

Second, we must learn to be present. 

 

As you already know, our lives are full of distraction. The world is teeming with messages vying for our time. It can all feel a bit daunting.

 

What I’ve learned, after encountering frustration after frustration and interruption after interruption, is that the way out of this madness is by embracing the little things. By loving the journey and accepting the inconveniences that come.

 

It means showing up to life and staying there, even when it feels normal. Especially then.

 

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Third, we must practice gratitude.

Learning to let go and be present to where we are helps us pay attention to what we never noticed before. And as we choose to see with new eyes, we learn to be grateful.

A screaming baby in the middle of the night becomes a reminder that life is a gift. A messy kitchen, a sign of a healthy family. An over-crowded schedule, a challenge to slow down.

What happens when we do this? We start to see the world differently. We become thankful for the things we used to resent. We celebrate the ordinary.

 

That’s what happened to me. I’ve realized that there are no big moments, no huge epiphanies. There is only now and what we choose do with it.

 

In other words, this is as good as it gets. Right here, right now — in the middle of the mess. This is perfection, if we choose to see it that way.

 

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after you watch this short video and cry
find out more about The In-Between
follow Jeff on Instagram
read his blog here
You’re welcome.
“In the waiting, we become” –Jeff Goins

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Comments

  1. I absolutely adore this. Now, on to figure out how to practice this in my own life.

  2. Ibidun Layi-Ojo says:

    Great post Jeff! My favorite line is “Celebrate the ordinary!”
    It is so tempting to yearn for the big events in life and waste all the time in between (by the way, I can’t wait to read your new book – The in-between) waiting for the big day. Today is the gift! That is why it is called “The Present”. Be present in the present!
    God designed us to live in Shalom (nothing missing, nothing broken). Cast every worry and every care and rest in the arms of God. He is the source of life and when you are in Him, you do not have to worry about anything because He cares for you and He will take care of you!

  3. Deeply needed this message today. Thank you.

  4. Nester, thank you for posting this. I need to read it every. single. day.
    (And thank you for making it so easy to leave comments on your blog – some make it too difficult for me so I give up trying. I guess I’m officially a dinosaur…)
    Love your blog.

  5. This is beautiful!! Thank you for these wonderful words today :). I needed to hear them in the midst of all the “distractions” – I’ll have to check out Jeff’s book!

  6. I absolutely LOVED this video!! I couldn’t agree more with the wisdom shared in it.

  7. That is a marvelous short video. Well worth watching and trying to LIVE that way. Great post here-! xo Diana

  8. words don’t do this justice, amazing. I’m trying to make the little moments count and make the most out of every day!
    Lauren

  9. I’m so glad that I clicked the link,I needed to see this.
    I’ve been following Jeff for a while and really enjoy his post.
    I look forward to reading his books!

  10. Great post. Love how the posts are just helping me to reinforce the truth in your book. To just live in the now. To see the ordinary as more important than anything in the future. I am going to get this and those who know me are going to be glad.

    BTW, is it just me or does your son look scared to death in that pic by the fence?

    • Hmmm… well now that you mention it, he does look a little freaked out. But I don’t think he was (he was looking at his mama who was taking the photo). It could’ve been the crowd of people.

  11. “I have wasted years of my life and a lot of energy trying to get rid of the mess. To perfect imperfections. To fix the frayed and tattered ends of my life that never seemed to resolve. And I’m finally giving up.” THis summarized my 20’s and most of my 30’s. When I hit 40 I realized what a colossal waste of time perfectionism was. I’m recovering slowly, but steadily. Great post

  12. Wow. I needed this right this exact moment. I love it when God speaks to me through blogs — He knows my love language! I was definitely feeling full of despair and then I randomly clicked on this post. Thanks Jeff & thanks Nester! Right now I’m going to go to the coffee shop, read, watch the sun set, and ENJOY my imperfect but beautiful life. Man, perfectionism is hard to overcome. Help me, Jesus!

  13. P.S. Awesome video! Very compelling and well concepted and well designed! Who produced it?

  14. Very inspiring! Thanks Jeff, I am a big fan of your work!

  15. Beautiful post. I especially love the second point. Learning to be present. I turned 40 last year, and I really struggled with hitting that milestone. But since then, I have decided that I am going to learn how to really live the life I have been given. I made a choice that my 40’s are going to be beautiful! I am on a journey of learning how to be present wherever, whenever, I am. And surprisingly, I’m learning to love my Life After 40!

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