More often than not, it seems that that we perceive ourselves in terms of what we lack: my outfit isn’t quite nice enough; my hair doesn’t look right; I haven’t traveled to all the places Ms. Humblebrag has traveled to; I don’t have enough education; I’m not meeting my goals; I’m not working hard enough; I’m not fulfilling my purpose on earth; and on and on.

But the opposite of the above is just as stressful, isn’t it? My outfits are much nicer than theirs; I make more money than he does; I live in a nicer neighborhood than she does; I’m more intelligent than she is; she wouldn’t know because she’s not educated; and on and on. Takes a lot of work to be better than everyone else, doesn’t it?

And so it goes. As long as there are opposites, and gradations in between, there will always be some variant of better or worse: richer or poorer; bigger or smaller; taller or shorter, etc. What can transcend these polarities, giving those affected by both sides – and all of the gradations in between – some peace? The Power of Presence.

The beauty of the Power of Presence is that everyone has it. It is the essence of who they are. It is the most basic of common denominators. It is what we all share.

This is not the kind of presence that is related to anything external; nor is it anything that can be boxed into opposites. It’s greater than all that. It can be felt, but it can’t really be defined – or not in a way that would really define it. And it’s interesting that it shares a similarity with another word that escapes opposites: the present. The present is not the past or the future; it’s just – the present.

My own coach, Will Linville, taught me about presence. He taught me that we can make a difference just by being there – whoever we are, whatever we have, whatever we’re doing, whatever we’re wearing, wherever we came from, whatever our background is, and whether we’re “fulfilling our purpose” or not – we can make a difference.

I’m reminded of an amusing Woody Allen quote: “80 percent of success is showing up.” Next time you’re facing something challenging or stressful, take a deep breath and try to remember that.

And as far as where we may think we fall, along the continuum of all those opposites – sure, we could go through a lot of brain damage and obsess over it. But I try to keep in mind another thing that my coach often says: “It is what it is.” Somehow this helps to keep me in the present.