Why is it that one of the most basic concepts of life is the one concept that gives us the most grief? How hard is it to live in the present moment? Yesterday is but a memory. Now granted it might not be the best memory or it could be the absolute worst memory, but it can’t be changed. It has to be accepted. Its natural law, there is no undoing it. There is only learning from the experience.
There is a flip side to this as well. There are awesome memories that give us just as much pause. We can’t rest on our laurels as they say. We must go on to create new ones. They too are gone and that exact experience will never be duplicated so enjoy it and move on.
Time is Relative
We all know this. When we are with a friend or lover and we are enjoying their company but we only have to a certain amount of time to share, it seems to go by in an instant. If we are at work and there is only 15 minutes left to an amazingly boring day, that 15 minutes can seem like an eternity.
In the first example we might be upset thinking about the time when we will be apart and in the second we are thinking about how long that next minute is going to last. It would be different if we could somehow find a way to just enjoy whatever it was we are doing at the time instead of losing the time with worry. It would go by faster if we could just find something productive to do at work that would pass the time.
You can Catch Yourself
Tomorrow is not here. Heck the next minute is not here and if you think through that thought it will never be here. Because when it gets here it will be now. There is nothing wrong with planning the future, near and far and nothing wrong with reliving a great experience or making amends for one. The key is not to dwell. You can catch yourself and move away from it when you see it happening.
It’s like reading a book. You are three pages into a chapter and you have no clue what you read. It’s almost like a blackout haha. How did I get here? I know I read every word but I have no idea what was said. Here are some simple suggestions:
- Routine works wonders – doing certain things on a normal basis can keep you in the present.
- Stop, Drop and Roll – no not like you’re on fire but when you realize you are drifting stop yourself, drop what you are doing and roll back to what your current focus is.
- Set tasks for the day – Not all days can have the same routine but your routine could be that you organize your day from the start.
- Enjoy a simple meal – especially with friends. If there is little time meals and conversation always keep you present.
There is No Control Beyond the Moment
You are reading this now, today. God forbid you could not be here tomorrow. Think right now of how wonderful the wonderful things are in your life. Feel them in your soul and live there right now. Tomorrow you could win the lottery or get hit by a bus, either thought is superfluous and speculative so why entertain them? It is only now, you can call someone, write a book, watch a great show or take a walk. It is only now that counts.
We plan and remember for good reasons. We conjecture and dwell for bad reasons. One is moving us forward, one is holding us back.