Sunday, February 7, 2010


How often have you read or listened to someone claim that our lives would be enriched if we just appreciated each day in the moment?  The best seller “The Power of Now” written by Eckhart Tolle suggests that we can transform our consciousness through living in the now (seems almost too trite to write a book on, never mind be so widely read as to become a best seller).  But have you every noticed how difficult it is to truly embrace the moment without dreaming of the future, or being hung up in the past?  Have you ever wondered how much of life slips by without our noticing because we are trapped by the past or a moment yet to come?

The Washington Post essentially did and concluded much the same – we are so consumed with the hustle of being in the race that we don’t stop and notice significant moments when they appear right in front of us.  In January 2007, they hired a violinist to play in the Washington DC Metro Station by a main entrance of the L’Enfant Plaza.

He played six Bach pieces for 43 minutes.  During that time over two thousand people went by him on their way to work.  Only twenty people thought highly enough of this person's ability to give him money.  After seven minutes he collected his first dollar.   After nearly an hour the violinist collected a grand total of $32, and only six people stopped to listen for any length of time.

Maybe you know the rest of the story … the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world.  Actually a onetime child prodigy who now at age 42 is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso.  One magazine once described his playing as “doing nothing less than telling human beings why they bother to live.”  On this particular cold January morning, he played one of the most intricate collection of pieces composed on a violin worth nearly $3.5 million dollars.  Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a concert in Boston whereby the seats averaged over $100.

This social experiment begs many questions:
  1. Are we so focused on the doing that we forget to even notice the magnificence of the present moment?
  2. How can we recognize an opportunity that presents itself in our lives if we can’t even see that which is right in front of us?
  3. Opportunity often involves connecting multiple ‘data points’ that occur and seeing a uniqueness to the pattern; if that is true how can we find opportunity when we are too busy to notice even a sliver of the moment?
  4. Do you perceive the beauty that is all around you all the time?
The Post quoted a line from W.H. Davies “Leisure” that seems appropriate as we begin a new week:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”

Or, reach back into your DVD collection and reacquaint yourself with the 1982 film titled “Koyaanisqatsi” whereby the director Godfrey Reggio takes clips of Americans going about their daily chores to such a speed that they resemble robots marching lockstep to nowhere.  By the way, the word “Koyaanisqatsi” is a Hopi word meaning a “life out of balance.”  Is your life so out of balance that you would not notice a virtuoso performance of some of the greatest music written as you walked by on your way to work?  We all would hope to reply in the negative, but this social experiment suggests our answer would be consistent to what actually happened. 

An interesting fact did occur though, the people who actually stopped to appreciate the music of Joshua Bell that day in D.C. were young children held in tow by their parents.  I wonder if they know something that adults seem to lose in the translation of doing … an appreciation of the magnificence of this moment!

Click to hear a full audio version of Joshua Bell’s performance that day!  Ah, will you stop even in the privacy of drinking your cup of coffee as you start the week off behind your desk to enjoy the moment?  Don’t worry no one is watching …

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take time to appreciate the grandeur held in your moment.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome your feedback and if I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

1 comment:

  1. I want to thank you for this piece, before I listen to the audio. Experiencing the present moment and focusing on it is so hard for many Americans, especially ones that think they need only focus on their race to the top.

    Gary Chomiak


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