Archives for posts with tag: Present

One of my previous bosses – and I’ve been fortunate enough to have several excellent ones – had a phrase he often relied upon.

“It is what it is.”

This for me is all about accepting what you have, dealing with what’s in front of you, and making the best of the ingredients. You made a plan, you executed it, results followed and you’ve measured where you stand. It’s no use lamenting the what ifs, because, as the older generation still say, “if ifs and ands were pots and pans.” The second half of that phrase contains what you might term a ‘politically incorrect epithet,’ but it conveys the point well enough.

There’s something so succinct about It is what it is, that for me it’s like a snap of the fingers where you break out of the negative or wistful feelings and get in the right mindset, get your game face on. Let’s deal with what we have and let’s make the best of what we have.

Because, after all, we have what we have. We’re active and in the present tense. We can improve our future situation with this hand we’ve been dealt. In life and business we can’t really ask for a re-deal.



Our American friends are very good at making every moment count. Far from wallowing in the past or wishing their lives away until some happy event in the future, they encourage us to capitalise on what is current. Hence the familiar phrases like ‘being in the moment’ and ‘living for now’. This resonates in sports and is also especially true for business these days, when the emphasis is, quite rightly, on execution. You can only execute on the present tense; you can’t execute in the past or future.

That said, imagine what kind of a world it is for those people for whom there is only the present tense. There are millions of people with varying conditions of what is essentially an eternal limbo. Long term memory is OK for many, but for the majority the short term memory evaporates. Think about what this means.

There is no recent past. The couple of grand you spent on last week’s holiday, or yesterday’s dinner with friends, or this afternoon’s sports match are gone, as if they never happened. There is no future. You’re not looking forward to the weekend, because within a few minutes of being reminded of the delights in store, you’ve forgotten them.

You are literally in the moment, constantly, fleetingly, living from moment to moment. Do you even try to enjoy every moment to its fullest? Probably not, because you have to remember to do that…

I don’t have any wisdom or answers to offer here. But I do have a question:

If the present really was all you had, would you execute better on your work lives, social lives and family lives? Would you check out, or would you do your best every time? Here’s to option 2…