When I hear the word engagement my first thought goes to a couple who are planning to marry. However, the word engagement means much more than committing yourself to another in marriage. I am sure you would agree?
We can be engaged in work, play, an activity, enjoyable or mundane. However, when we are “fully engaged” in what we are doing other things become unimportant. We are totally in the “zone”. Concentrating solely and fully on the task at hand enables us to shut out other things happening around us. It is extremely important for those who trim trees!
When I am fully engaged in an activity I wonder where the time went? There is something great about giving myself permission to be present in the moment. Rather than randomly thinking about all the other things, I should do or could do!
I am no longer in paid employment. I am employed at home, retired and busy! When I was at work, I had some interesting experiences with people who were NOT engaged in their work. If you are still in paid employment you may know some of these people? They may turn up at work, but they are not engaged, not present in the “here and now”. There is a name for it, it is called “Presentism”. They arrive at work early saying the unspoken words – “Hello, I’m here” but they are not really present! They make a coffee, chat to colleagues, go to their desk, and before long it is morning tea time! They hardly got a chance to get engaged in a task then they are having another break! Most likely they are not enjoying the place where they work! Perhaps time for a change?
When I am engaged in an activity, for example, when I am learning a new piano piece everything else is locked out of my mind. It is the same when I am reading a book or newspaper. Unless, of course I am also eating breakfast and reading Saturday’s papers! A bad habit – eating and reading! It is better if I concentrate on one activity at a time. Otherwise, I will be finished my breakfast and I can’t remember eating it! Has that happened to you? The enjoyment of a great breakfast was lost!
Doing one activity at a time is living in the “here and now”. No ruminating on the past, a past no one can change, nor fears of what tomorrow may bring. When I am in a state of mindfulness, I am fully present in what I am doing. Today, so many people think that it is good to multi-task. But our brain can only successfully manage one thing at a time. I can pretend I am listening to my One & Only (O&O) while sending a text, but I am not really listening! If I am fully engaged in what he is saying, then I will stop doing what I am doing and pay attention. It also tells him he is important enough for me to withdraw from all other activities and give him dedicated time. Similarly, I like him to do the same for me.
Therefore, engagement is an important part of life, it helps me live a better life, a happy life! I find I am doing it more and more. It is a state whereby I invest myself physically, cognitively and emotionally in what I am doing – one thing at a time. It just happened to me writing this blog. The topic of engagement makes me think more about the way I approach life. Maybe you have found it helpful as well!