Part 3 | How to Live in the Present Moment


June 3, 2016

Before we go any farther, let’s take a look at some definitions.  Namely, what do we mean by the word moment?

If someone were to tell us to walk one mile, we would know precisely what they meant.  In fact, we could measure it down to the foot, or, if we wanted to, we could measure it down to the nanometer. That is, one mile = 5280 feet = 1760 yards = 160934.4 cm = 1609344 mm = 1.609344e+13 nanometers = one mile.

Here, we can see that the same idea can be addressed in different ways—each being accurate.  A mile is the same distance regardless of which unit is used to measure it.

Similarly, if someone were to tell us that something costs a million dollars, they are talking about something concrete and measurable, which can be broken into smaller and smaller increments.  For example, a million dollars is the same as 100 million pennies.  Whether we have a million one dollar bills or 100 million pennies, the value is the same.

So, when we talk about staying in the present moment, what exactly are we referring to.  This is to say, how long is one moment?  Really, truly.

In the Middle Ages, a moment was precisely 2.25 seconds.  Random and strange as it sounds, it’s true.  Back then, an hour was made up of 40 minutes (not 60) and each minute was 90 seconds long.  (When we do the math, 60 mins x 60 seconds vs. 40 mins x 90 seconds, we find that both equal 3,600 seconds…so, an hour was technically the same number of seconds, which were broken up into different increments, which are both called “minutes”.)

Whew!  So, how does it all relate?  Well, back then, each 90-second-minute was further divided into 40 parts.  And, each part was considered an individual moment—thus, giving us the ultra-precise definition of a moment being 2.25 seconds long.  (For the math lovers out there, it looks like this: One minute = 90 seconds, so, 90 seconds divided by 40 moments = 2.25 seconds per moment.)

But, wait…when someone tells us today that they need a moment to think about something, do we really stop the clock at 2.25 seconds?  No way!

This begs the question, “What do we mean when we talk about one moment?”  More than that, how is it that we are to “stay” in that moment once we find it?

Is a moment measured by some inner compass or radar?  How long is a moment these days?  Is it personal?  What do we really mean when we use the term?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zach Carlsen

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