As in weeks past, I arrived at my daughter's school to take her out for our usual Tuesday afternoon together. The bell rang and I soon spotted Haley and her radiant smile walking briskly down the hallway toward me. We joined in an embrace that brought the joy, warmth and love that only a seven-year-old little girl can bring her daddy. We proceeded out of the school and she let out an electrifying shout "freeeeeee! at last." She grabbed my hand and we began running toward the car. Although the school disappeared in our rearview mirror, my lesson was only just beginning.

Our discussion turned to the day’s plans. "What would you like to do today sweetie," I asked. "Well dad," she began, "it is getting colder and the ducks at the park probably don’t have as much food now. How about we get some bread and go feed them?" "Great idea," I replied. After a brief visit to the grocery store for bread, it was off to the park for an afternoon of fun.

As we drove along, my thoughts drifted from one thing to the next. I thought about my job and how unhappy I felt in it. I wondered about that silly hesitation I kept noticing in my car. I remembered a disagreement I’d had a few days prior and wondered if I had said the wrong thing. Silent complaints about the "slow poke" in front of me filled my mind. And of course, as is my usual custom, I worried about the tall stack of bills beside the short stack of money. As we entered the park, my attention shifted back to the present moment. "Yay, we’re here!" shouted my bubbly little backseat bundle of energy.

I sat on the bench, watching her as she broke off pieces off bread and threw them into the pond. The resident ducks crowded around her and awaited her next generous offering. My thoughts drifted once again. It was like a tape recorder I kept playing over and over in my head. "I shouldn’t have said that, he is my friend after all." "What other job could I do?" "I hate my job." "I need to earn more money." "Which bills should I pay first?" "Should I get my car looked at?" This constant internal chatter continued for several minutes.

My chatter was silenced by a strange voice. "She’s beautiful," stated an elderly gentleman as he sat down on the bench beside me. I turned to look into his eyes, which seemed to overflow with a gleam of joy, wisdom and compassion. "Thank you," I replied. "That‘s my daughter Haley and my name is Michael." "Nice to meet you Michael. My friends call me Sam." Sam and I made small talk for a short while until Haley came over to us for more bread. I introduced the two of them, Haley smiled, said hello and was off again to feed the ducks.

Our conversation resumed. "Interesting creatures, aren’t they," asked Sam. "The ducks," I asked. "No, children. Children are interesting creatures. Take your daughter, for example. What do you suppose she’s thinking about right now? Is she thinking about her homework she has to do or what time she has to wake up in the morning or the test she has on Thursday? Nope, none of it. All she is thinking about is those ducks and feeding them. Look how she laughs as the ducks climb over one another to get the bread. See how she threw that piece of bread to that one lonely duck off by itself? Nothing else matters to her except those ducks."

As if reading my mind, he continued. "And here you are, letting the thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow steal away the only thing you have, which is right now. That’s all you have Michael...this moment. You can’t do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is out of reach. It won’t be very long before that little beauty of yours is off on her own, feeding her own children instead of these ducks. Enjoy this moment because it’s perfect just the way it is." Sam casually said goodbye and left as quietly as he’d arrived.

As I sat there, his words hit me like a freight train. "That’s all you have Michael...this moment." "Enjoy this moment because it’s perfect just the way it is." I suddenly noticed Haley’s unbridled laughter, the beauty of the trees, the warmth of the sun and the ultimate perfection of "this moment." The chatter was silenced and my mind was filled with the beauty that lie all around me.

I looked at Haley and she ran toward me. She grabbed my hand, pulling me off the bench. "C’mon dad, help me feed the ducks! Isn’t that why we came here?" Hand in hand, we ran back to the edge of the pond. We spent the rest of the afternoon feeding the ducks, swinging on the swings, laughing and playing. And just as Sam had so wisely pointed out, each moment was perfect.

Spend some time this week to just be "in the moment." Leave thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow where they belong. Don’t allow them to steal away the only thing you really have, which is this moment. Look for the perfection in each moment. When you get yourself out of the future and out of the past, what is right in front of you to see, do and learn? Become a child again. Write your thoughts on paper or in a journal. Have a great week!

It’s your life. Create it the way you want it!

Author's Bio: 

Michael Pollock is a writer, Personal Coach and Founder of Successful Life Solutions. He works with proactive people who are determined to make their lives all they want them to be. You can find him at:

http://www.successfulifecoach.com or email him at mp@successfulifecoach.com