Updated: Mar 28, 2019
I've spent my usual day in New York City as an entrepreneur, running to meetings, conducting business, grabbing a cup of coffee, coaching from my office on the 14th Floor facing the Hudson River, Riverside Church, Grant's Tomb and the George Washington Bridge. This City is full of energy; full of 'vibe.' The Greatest City in the World...
Today I notice with an acute sense of reality (and gut-wrenching impact) just how miserable so many people seem. On the subway, in the middle of Grand Central, making their way to their subway connections, headed to their offices on the streets at Rush Hour, there is little sense of well-being, of being well, of being rested, of living a life that's manageable or enjoyable, of connection to others (or Self).
In the middle of this blur of activity is very real, palpable stress, the presence of angst and exhaustion, chronic rushing, impatience, intolerance of others, a systemic struggle to keep up, overwhelming concern about getting enough done, getting to business, cutting the deal, making the sale, keeping the job, meeting the needs of family.
People don't seem to See one another (and are not Seen themselves). Presence is most notably not present. The mode in the air is one of tuning out, turning to the phone or the gadget, turning the gaze inward, avoiding eye contact, hunkering down to get through another day. Heading home later spent, taxed (and, I make up potentially dreading tomorrow).
Today is one day of the 28,689 days that most of us will have on this planet if we live the average lifespan of someone in the US (78.6 years). I don't know about you, but I've only got about 7,519 left based on that math. And, while I could actually estimate the number of the days I've spent in the space I'm speaking of, I won't. It'd just be too sad and too revealing. It's the fact that I know the feeling that compels me to do the work I do.
Something's gotta' give -- Doing More To Get More is using up our days and giving us VIP tickets to burn-out and dissatisfaction. Struggling to keep up is a never-ending cycle. Living in a blurred state isn't what we bargained for or what we want. There is so much more to live for, to be Present with. How do so many beautiful, brilliant, creative people full of dreams and possibility find themselves lost in chronic stress and exhaustion, struggling with anxiety disorders, addicted to anesthetizers, disconnected from themselves and others?
So, as I close the workday on my 21,400-ish day on this planet (with perhaps 7,518 more days to go) I stand with conviction in wanting more for myself, for my friends and family, for my clients, for YOU, and yes - for the people I plan to See tomorrow.
And, I invite you to put your phone away, look up, make eye contact, See the people around you, See yourself. BE with both. CONNECT with both. What I know is that time and energy expand when we do this.
-Maureen M. Knapp (MBA, CPCC, PCC) is a Professional Coach, Leadership Expert and Speaker who work with executives, individuals and organizations to design the
high-impact change they seek to live and engage to their fullest potential.