By the time most of us are adults, we start to live a good part of our life somewhere outside the present. Even when we’re not physically doing anything, we tend to spend a lot of time exercising our mind by thinking about what has already happened or what might happen or what we want to have happen, rather than enjoying what’s happening at the current moment.
I have a friend I’ve known for over 20 years who seems to spend her entire life racing from one activity or emotion to the next without ever being fully present. She’s always running late, talking a mile a minute on several different topics or having an emotional meltdown. Sometimes when I’m with her, I feel as if I’m in one of those zany dreams where you keep jumping from one unrelated scene to another, with no beginning and no end — just continuous but different streams of consciousness. I want to say to her, “Stop, look, and listen!” And while she might hear my words amid the clutter in her mind, she’s already deleted them and moved on to some other thought. When you live your life in this manner, it might feel exhilarating at first, but you can’t possibly focus on anything or anyone right in front of you. Your life journey becomes one big blur of images with no meaning.
Life is most enjoyable and meaningful when you are present in every moment. Living in the past or future, as we often do, only serves to drain your spirit. The past, whether successful or full of failures, is done and over with. You can’t change it. Worrying about the future is also a burden. No matter how much you plan, life is uncertain and the future is unknown. It makes no sense to spend your time worrying about something you truly can’t control.
So instead of living in the land of “I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” or “what if,” try living in the land of “I am,” because now is the only moment you can affect and enjoy. Take some time to notice every detail in the backdrop of your daily life — the colors, the smells, the people. Savor every moment. Like snowflakes, no two are the same, and can never be recreated.
Follow Debbie Gisonni on Twitter
Inspiring personal growth, professional success and positive change. Author of The Goddess of Happiness, Vita’s Will and Note to Self: Love (Book & Screenplay). Lover of food, fashion, fitness, funky music, dogs, dancing, cooking, laughter and anything Italian.