The Nows: Part 2-The Micro-Now

For many, this is the only Now worth talking about or paying any attention to. It’s the topic of conversation among partners who ask nightly “how was today?” or co-workers who ask daily “how was last night?” or friends checking in with, “what are you up to tomorrow?”

This is day-to-day life. Perhaps even, the Practical Now.

This is getting paid for the work you did today. It’s telling a story about the craziest thing that happened yesterday. It’s going to sleep knowing what you’re going to do tomorrow.

It’s attractive to our attention because it’s relatively predictable and there’s relatively instant gratification when compared to the Macro-Now (your life) and the Long Now (20,000 years).

What traps many people is focusing solely on the Micro-Now and losing awareness of where they’ve been and where they’re headed. It’s like wearing blinders that conceal the lessons from your past and the future consequences of your current actions. Like an Uber driver who just follows the GPS arrow all day. She doesn’t remember where she’s been, doesn’t know her next destination, and can’t be bothered if the current route isn’t the most efficient path. She just follows the arrow, taps a few buttons, and gets paid.

Living the equivalent of this in other areas of life without minding the bigger picture, eventually gets you blindsided. There is tension among keeping focus on how we want to live and where we want to go as a person, as a professional, as a parent, as a partner, and perhaps even as a species.

The opportunity that exists in the Micro-Now is that this is where the work gets done. Every human-made plan that has shaped our world throughout history, whether it was designed over weeks, years or decades, was acted out and executed little by little, day by day, in the Micro-Now.

When we trust that a plan is in place and that by doing our work in the Micro-Now we contribute to life at every level of Now, we’re not just following the arrow to get paid. We are doing humanity’s best work and building upon the legacy of our species.

Some questions to ask yourself regarding actions in the Micro-Now:

How are words you are using with your son influencing him in his next phase of life (Meso-Now)?

How is what you eat today contributing to your state of vitality when you’re 80? (Macro-Now)

How is the way you process your trash, fuel your vehicle, and invest your money sustaining the planet? (Long Now)

In Part 3, we will explore the Meso-Now and our relationship top the phases of life.