Do You Live In The Present?
It may seem like a strange question; after all, how else would we live? However, it’s actually very common for people not to do so. Many of us find ourselves focusing our attention anywhere but the present; this occurs when we dwell on past events, when we think about the things we need to do later in the day. Consider how you take in the present. Are you focused on reading this entry and how it might help you gain more control over your life? Or is your mind drifting to events that have happened or that might happen?
It may sound cliché, but I want to encourage you to live in the moment. Doing so is truly the key to living a more full and happy life. When you live in the present, you’re able to appreciate so much more about the everyday, and that allows you to get more enjoyment out of your life. When you’re not living in the present, you often miss simple pleasures such as feeling the warmth of the sun on a mild day; the feel of grass beneath your feet; refreshing, cool water when you’re parched, or play time with your cat or dog. All of these moments enrich our lives; but if we’re too preoccupied with something going on at work, for example, they can pass us by. Those of us who can enjoy the simple, inexpensive pleasures can be far happier than the very wealthy person who can only be happy with ever-more-expensive pleasures.
It’s impossible to live in the future one hundred percent of the time. I like to say we should live in the present as much as possible without sacrificing the future. A good example of this is when someone loves to read but does so to the detriment of their future. That is probably a good definition of an addict. Live in the moment as much as possible, so long as you continue to behave like a responsible adult, knowing that your choices will affect your own future, and may impact the futures of others.
I love how Alice Morse Earle says, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present.” When we recognize that the past is unchangeable and that we can’t divine the future, we really see how vital it is to live in the present moment. It’s a gift. But is really difficult for some of us to appreciate.