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Never been better

I work with a man whose job is very high pressure. As a consultant, I look from the outside in and I see the demands placed on him by his position: people to manage, people to answer to, deadlines to set, deadlines to meet, long hours, big responsibilities, and, of course, office politics. Like I said, it's a high pressure job. And, still, nearly every phone call we have had has started like this:

Me: Hey, how are you?

Him: Never been better!

In the beginning (and this goes back 12 years, 13 ... maybe 15??), I just thought he was being flip and I dismissed it as a conversational gambit. After years of this, I finally challenged him on it. "Never?" I asked. "You've never been better than this moment, right here, right now on Monday morning?" He considered for a few moments and answered me simply. "Nope. I've never been better." I think I let it drop. After all, he's the client.

How is it possible, I wondered, for someone to feel this way, to come to any present moment in life and consider it, assess it, and conclude that they've never been better than right now? What about all the wonderful peak experiences you've had before now? Beholding the birth of your child, gaining a hard-earned promotion, traveling to a breath-taking locale, and on and on. Surely those moments exceed a Monday morning at a pressure cooker desk job, where you might be overworked and under-appreciated, don't they? I used to think, "Come on... there are things in every life that, looking back, exceed this moment. I mean, this moment isn't bad, but it surely isn't the best moment you've ever experienced in your entire life. Seriously, man. That's just not real."

I have evolved on that.

There is no moment but this one. We choose to be who and what we are in every moment, consciously or not. Everything that ever happened to us before this moment is done. Every joy, every sorrow, every pain or loss or fear, every triumph, accomplishment or success--it's meaningless because it's not present. There is no taking it back, making it right, wishing it were here or that it never happened or could stay that way forever. This is it. My life is right here, right now. Choosing to see my present as the best moment ever, without comparison to other moments that don't even exist, and therefore are no longer real, is to choose to create contentment and happiness.

So, good Monday morning to you, dear reader. How are you today?

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