Why Being Present is the Best Present

What is a great present? There are a thousand different ways to answer that question, and the answer often begins with “it depends.” It depends on who is going to receive it, what is it for, what the recipient needs…

Because this is such a busy time of year with home/family, work, friends, events, etc.; there are a lot of things I think I need to get done. I get focused and do a pretty good job of accomplishing those tasks. BUT (which can stand for “beware of the underlying truth”), I forget about the people. This pattern has repeated itself enough times that it’s predictable – and I am great (an expert, really) at rationalizing the behavior.

Here are two things that recently caused me to pause and reflect:

  • Extreme Ownership speakers – Reading this book and listening to the speakers has reminded me that I decide what I do or don’t do.  I am ridiculously in-charge of my focus and priorities.
  • Mindful Leadership speaker – This was a message so simple that I almost missed it. Be present. Be present with people around you.

So I’m going to experiment during the holiday season this year. Between now and January 1, 2019, I am going to be purposefully present with one person each day by giving them my time and focus. This might be a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a business partner or even a stranger. It won’t change the world, but it just might change my behavior enough to create a new habit. This extra focus is an investment in those relationships that will allow me to show that person how important they are to me.

If someone were to ask me “What is a great present?”, I would answer “To be present.”

Have a wonderful holiday season!


Scott Peterson, Interstates CEO



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