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MaryEllen Tribby: Leave the iPhone. Take the Cannoli.

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Image courtesy of alexisdc at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was actually painful to watch.

I was on the treadmill at the gym listening to Bono wishing me a Beautiful Day. When out of the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but notice a very animated woman.

She was standing on the treadmill across from me. Her arms were waving all over the place and her facial expressions were theatrical.

Finally, I realized she was yelling into her iPhone.

I momentarily turned Bono off and shifted my attention to this extremely agitated woman. Apparently, she was chastising her assistant for a mistake that was made at the office yesterday. By this time, she had the attention of several stunned gym enthusiasts, including me.

After a several minutes the call came to an end. I thought, “Great; everyone can get back to his or her workouts.” But to my surprise, this woman instantaneously made another call.

Clearly this time she was talking, or more accurately, screaming at her child. Undoubtedly, Susie did not clean her room yesterday. And now, she was having to endure the “wrath of mom.”

Again, many of us watched in disbelief.

After a hearty ten minutes or so, the call concluded and screaming working mom stepped of the treadmill and headed for the locker-room.

Growing Disbelief

After fanatical mom was out of sight, I was eager to get back to my workout. However, I could not help but notice the number of people, both men and women on their phones while attempting to workout.

One could tell from the body language of some of these folks that they were having “happy go lucky” kind of conversations.

Yet, most were obviously having hard-core business conversations.

And, it was clear that the hard-core business conversations these people were having were working against their main goal for coming to the gym in the first place.

Most of them were not working out. And, instead of relieving stress, you could see the stress building.

Listen to Your Godfather

There is a great scene in the iconic movie The Godfather.

The Don’s henchman, Clemenza, is on the road with two of his men. He’s under orders that only one of the two is supposed to make the ride back.

Clemenza tells the driver to pull over. “I gotta take a leak,” he says. As Clemenza empties his bladder, the man in the backseat empties his gun into the driver’s skull. There are three shots.

The grisly, back-of-the-head murder of a rat-fink associate is all in a day’s work. But, Clemenza’s overriding responsibility is to his family. He takes a moment out of his the madness to remember that he had promised his wife he would bring dessert home.

His instruction to his remaining partner in crime is an entire moral manifesto in six little words: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” Clemenza grabs the cannoli from the car and takes it home to his wife.

The example above may be extreme. But, it shows… even hit men know when it’s time to work and when it’s time for family.

The ‘Present’ Truly is a Gift

Like the mom above, so many people miss out on enjoying the present moment. They are either planning tomorrow or regretting yesterday. This is so sad because you only have this moment once.

The following are three ways to preserve your “now”:

  1. Put Your iPhone Away: Regardless if you are at the gym or out to dinner with your spouse, turn your phone off. Listen, for years we lived without a phone on our person 24 hours a day and everything was fine. When I go to the gym, my phone stays in the locker. I still have my iPod with all of music on it. So, I don’t need my phone. When I am out to dinner with hubby, my phone is shut off. I occasionally check it for messages, when visiting the ladies room or before the movie. I just look to make sure the kids are fine. Any other messages I let wait until the next morning. This way I am able to enjoy my workout and a night out with hubby without interruption.
  2. Mark Your Calendar: By planning your day and marking your calendar, you are able to allot the appropriate amount of time for appointments and tasks. If you don’t control your day, your day will control you and the regrets will start to build.
  3. Stop Multi-tasking!: The reason most people miss out on the “now” is because they are too busy doing multiple projects at once. Life is about quality, not quantity. The best way to stop multi-tasking is to say to yourself “Will I be doing myself justice by doing two things at once?” I guarantee you that 99.9% of the time the answer will be “no”.

Pop Quiz

Answer this question honestly.

Are you doing another task as you read this?

If the answer is “yes” – stop now.

If the answer is “no” – good for you!

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