Peter Bregman has inspired me again with one of his Harvard Business Review blogs, titled “A Question That Can Change Your Life.”

Yes, we’ve all heard about or read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  Many of us know about mindfulness, breathing and being in the present moment. Sai Maa speaks about NOWISM. At the same time, it’s useful for us to be reminded, to look in a new way at how present we are or are not in each moment, so that our awareness is developed, strengthened, shifted, reinforced …  so we take action in the present and benefit from the moment through the results of our actions.

As I’ve written, everything is action. Actions take place within us (the thoughts and feelings we create, our perspectives and where we focus our attention). Actions take place in our interactions, conversations, what we do in the world (waking up, showering, shaving, eating, driving, working, socializing).

The point is to be aware of our actions, to be in the present moment, to know what’s important to us, to notice if we’re hesitating, resisting, or blocked in our actions, and to GO FOR IT, realize our power by expressing ourselves (to ourselves, in the world), in order to make a difference, to have the greatest impact for ourselves and for others.

As Peter states, we’re to ask ourselves the question, “What can I do, right now, that would be the most powerful use of this moment?”

Peter writes about what appear to be outer actions, although we can also interpret some as inner actions:  he asks what can we say, what actions can we take, what questions can we ask, what issues can we bring up, what decisions can we make with the greatest impact?

As for myself, I could have stayed in bed longer. I could have decided not to meditate.  I could have focused on a thought that was uncomfortable, bothering me, for longer than I did. The most powerful thing I can do right now is …

Peter adds that we’re to ask ourselves questions, answering them honestly, and that this is the path to choosing new actions that can bring better outcomes. Taking bold actions that create new opportunities. I add: taking actions that manifest possibilities that are already here waiting for us. Peter writes about “emotional courage”, and I add that this courage becomes a habit, a pattern, a consistent practice, all the way to becoming an embodiment, a state and way of being.

As Peter always does, he provides us with powerful examples from life, many times about himself and his life, examples from his work. In this blog he also provides an inspiring video that has drawn over 2.5 million to view it on YouTube.

Billy Joel was speaking at Vanderbilt University to a large group of students, and one student (Michael Pollack) raises his hand and asks Billy Joel whether he can accompany him in a performance of “New York State of Mind”. Billy hesitates for just a second and says “OK”.  The action Michael took in that exact moment of asking the question led to a moment he says is the greatest moment of his life. It also led to an inspiring moment for everyone who was there and who has viewed the video.

I provide the link to this video below as well as to Peter’s insightful article. I also provide a link to iTunes where you can listen to Michael Pollack playing the piano and singing three songs he has written. One song in particular, “Chances Are” clearly expresses Michael’s perspective about benefiting from the moment through action. Some of the lyrics are: “Never hesitate to take what’s given. Chances are this chance won’t come again.”

Before viewing the videos, I end with some more words from Peter and a few of mine:

Peter: “Your greatest opportunity is to use your time in a way that will garner the most productive return. To take risks that will shake things up.”

Shaking ourselves out of our stupor, old habits, comfort zone, normal ways of being and acting, in order to use each moment we are alive to its fullest, to be the most powerful in our actions, in how we express ourselves to ourselves and in the world. Picture Michael raising his hand, standing up, and asking for what he wants that is most important to him. Michael expressing himself to Billy, and what comes as a result of that one moment in time.

Billy Joel and Michael Pollack video: – at=236

Peter’s article:

Michael Pollack’s iTunes music: