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WHEN I’M NOT BUILDING STRATEGIC PLANNING MUSCLE IN INNOVATIVE ENTERPRISES, EXTREME ADVENTURING WITH MY HUSBAND THOMAS, OR ENGAGING KIWIS IN POLITICAL SOLUTION-FINDING, I TEACH TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS TO FUNCTION AT A HYPER-AWARE LEVEL THROUGH #ACUITYHACKS.

I was asked, alongside some clever people, to describe what “the ultimate truth” of life is.

There were some interesting answers, many of them bleak. One that I really hope isn’t an ultimate truth went: “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first”.

It’s a hard question to come up with a quick answer to, but I stand by my original answer:

Everything arises to pass.

The way I explained it was in relation to some of the other answers (italics below), which I felt were truths but not, for me, *the ultimate*:

  • all you have is “right now” – what happened in that last moment of which you were conscious has already disappeared forever

  • it all goes “back in the box” – you will pass, as will every tangible thing you create during your time on this planet

  • life is unpredictable – things you thought were still arising are already passing; things you expected to pass already are still arising…

I can see how my answer could also be seen as bleak.

But here’s how it looks to me through acuity:

  1. Whatever terrible event or condition you experience will pass. For myself, if I can bring some awareness of this fact to those moments, I feel more resilient.

  2. The fleetingness of those things that bring us joy – a spectacular sunset, a loving kiss, the delight of plunging into cold water on a hot summer’s day, that ridiculously cute thing our baby child did … it’s the very fact that those moments are passing that makes them so joyful. If any of those things were permanent and unchanging, they would lose all their wonder, beauty and magic.

There’s another, seemingly contradictory belief I hold that gives this truth more context for me: every moment lasts forever.

So while we go through life experiencing its ebbs and flows, and sometimes resistant to or upset by its constant change, everything we produce within it – our thoughts, words, actions, creations, effects and consequences – exists forever in that moment; that particular piece of space-time.

You and I too will pass at some point, yet everything we were, are, and will be, and every way in which we touch others, will exist, somewhere, for as long as time.

Acuity hack No. 5: Look at what you’re doing through a long lens.

Mine is 500 years, and my #acuityhack question to myself is always: How much is what I’m doing or experiencing now going to matter in 500 years?

If the answer is not at all, then it serves me to be solidly in the moment, and entirely surrendered to its passing.

But if it will matter, then it serves me to be solidly in the moment and work the hell out of it.

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New Plymouth, New Zealand  •  Beijing, China

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