Written by Kristin Harrington

I’ve been on a journey over the past several months to achieve a better balance in my life. I started this quest when work was overtaking my life, anxiety was high, and I was missing out on valuable moments with my family. I use the word “quest” because that’s what it feels like – a long search for something.

I found a book that promises readers tips and tricks to be “deeply present” in an un-present world. Ironically, I caught myself checking my phone and tending to a few household tasks within the first few pages. Even with intentionality and a good book, being present is difficult to master.

In my quest and my reading, I’ve learned that my lack of being truly present is often what’s holding me back from the richness of living. If many of us share this struggle, how does this impact our relationships – at home, with friends, and in the workplace? I’m new to this journey, but here are a few tips I’ve picked up so far for spending more time in the moment:

Understand your “why” and let it ground your actions. What are you working towards? What makes your life worth living? Seeking out and truly understanding your bigger purpose allows you to be present for the moments that matter. If you haven’t found your “why” yet, it’s worth some time in reflection.

Let down your walls. Behind every Instagram post is a real-life person with real issues and a story to tell. The facade of social media is often just that – a facade. We’re craving real. We want leaders who will pave the way, revealing the good and bad of life with candor and honesty. So, let down your walls and let others see the real you. This inspires deeper connections centered around vulnerability and helps keep us connected and present.

Take in your surroundings. It’s so easy to live in the future. This anxiety and accompanying narratives can pull us away from the present and the beauty of the moment we’re in. Whenever you get lost in a future-fueled spiral, challenge yourself to pause and take in your current surroundings with your senses. Notice the leaves changing colors, take a sip of hot coffee, listen to the laughter of your children, and smell the supper cooking in the kitchen. It’s an easy way to re-ground yourself, pulling you back to the here and now.

Being present isn’t an endpoint worth pursuing on its own, and it doesn’t automatically equal being happy, but it’s an important ingredient. Ultimately, being present is about not missing your life and living in the fullness of the world. As leaders, that’s a goal worth striving towards.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through an innovative coaching program, Year to Rise.