The spectacular now, a life lesson from a colleague and friend John.

Photo by KirstenMarie on Unsplash

At work, I love to work hard and also play hard. I love to send emails to my colleagues with memes, a lot of hashtags, and some humor.

I sent an email this week. A colleague sent me feedback telling me that my emails have no place in the workplace. While I understand where he is coming from, I don’t share the same vision about how we show up at work.

John is the opposite of the colleague above. He is kind, always smiling, and always has a nice word whenever we meet in the corridors of our building in Blagnac, Toulouse. When I joined the Customer Support department, John provided me with training on how to communicate with customers.

One month ago, we met at the entrance of our building while using hand sanitizers.

Hi Ahmadou, said John with his smile. Hi John, how are you? I replied. Fine thank you, hope you are fine also, he added. So far, so good, I said. Then we wished each other a nice day and went our separate ways.

John has passed away suddenly this weekend!” was what hit me at the beginning of this week. I was in shock and all I could remember was his smile and his kindness.

Now John is gone. A heart attack stole him from his family, from his friends, from his colleagues, and from the world.

Rest In Power, John. Your smile and energy will forever live with me. I thank you for smiling at my jokes at work and for always being supportive.

As I am morning the loss of my friend and colleague John, I want to reflect on how to focus on the spectacular now. Because in the end, the “now” is all we have.

Yes, we can do nothing about the past, it’s already gone. We just can learn from it.

Yes, we can do nothing about the future. We might not see it. We can just expect the best from it.

When he left the office Friday, last week, John was just like billions of people. He expected to spend a great weekend with his family and friends and come back to the office the next Monday.

I know that John enjoyed his job because I always see him with a smile at work. I never took the opportunity to ask him what his secret was.

Yet I love to believe that it encompasses the 3 mindsets below, in a certain way:

I believe that by focusing on the spectacular now, we can be more aware, make better choices, and have better results.

BETTER AWARENESS — Often when we focus on the past, we have a feeling of depression and while we are looking back, we are not enjoying where we are right now. The past is for reference, not for residence. When we focus on the future, we have a feeling of anxiety and while we are stressed about a potential future that might never happen, we are again not enjoying the present moment. Being aware of the spectacular now is to acknowledge that the now is the only thing on which we have the power to act. We can change the present, we can enjoy it at the same time. The present is what makes our memories and what builds the future of us. Each moment we lose depressed over the past or stressing over the future is a moment stolen from our present. Being present is the best gift we can give to ourselves, to our family, to our friends, to our time, and to the world. Ultimately we have better awareness in our life.

BETTER CHOICES — Focusing on the spectacular now will help us make better choices. We made some mistakes in the past. Yet while acknowledging the legacy of our older version, we should not let it define our current version. In the same way, we might envision our future version as smarter, richer, or even more skilled than our current version. Yet we must not hand over the wheel of our life to the will of a hypothetical future version of us.

The current version of us is the best one skilled to make choices for us as it is the one in power and will always be. By being focused on the now, we can take better decisions because we ultimately know that we can only act right now. Choices that lead to improving the right now are the only ones that matter. Because we are focused on solving our current issues, we can make choices that will ultimately yield benefits for us in the long run, retrospectively. Because we are shaping a better now, we are laying the bricks of a better future. Focusing on the spectacular now will lead to better decision making.

BETTER RESULTS — Most of us are focusing on having more inputs in our life. A few of us are focused on the outputs and how we can learn from them to improve our inputs. We might think that we need more money because it will make us happy. We never ask ourselves what price we pay in terms of happiness by chasing more money our whole life. Ultimately maybe if we look closer, we can see that we can happy with some reasonable amount of money and by diversifying our sources of happiness to other areas than money.

To focus on the spectacular now is to assess our life machine. We know that we are here right now. We are putting things on the machine. We sit down and assess how the outputs are impacting our present. We make sure to not only focus on input and hope. We close the loop by focusing on output and feedback, right here, right now. The present will always send us feedback if we take time to listen to the universe. By focusing on the right now, we can improve our results by improving our inputs.

The “now” is all we have. And the fact that John is not here anymore is the feedback that the universe is sending me, right now, right here. I might not like it. Yet I can use it to improve my present life. I am more aware of my limited tie on this Earth. I am making the choice to live my life through experiences, not expenses. In everything I do, I always value feedback in any shape or form. I always use it to improve my input.

Rest In Power John. You are my legend!

“If you want to be remembered as great, if you want to be a legend, you have to go out there every single day and do stuff.”


How do you focus on the spectacular now?

What are your tips to be more aware, to make better choices, and to have better results?

How are you feeling right now?

Leave a comment below.

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You can read my previous article on The ultimate battle of Humans against Humans: Doings vs Beings.

Photo by KirstenMarie on Unsplash



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Ahmadou Diallo ✪

🤎 Afropean 📖 Griot 🧙🏿‍♂️Mentor 💪🏿 Entrepreneur