It seems easy enough, yet we humans struggle to appreciate the present. Why? We frequently speak only of the future — but what about building your now? You hear, “Know your why.” Start thinking, “Know your now.”
Some people think we lose out on fantastic moments because we are too busy rehashing previous events or preparing for the future. We seldom pause to smell the flowers. We don’t enjoy the moment. Keep the destructive process from becoming the precedent.
It’s sad not to be in your own personal time zone — since we don’t know how many more moments we’ll have. Meditation and many of the healthy habits we work to learn are all about living in the now.
Go ahead and plan your life in detail.
This is not suggesting we spend less time planning. To leave out the planning is terrible counsel. Setting goals is critical to our personal and professional happiness. Setting and achieving realistic objectives fosters personal accountability. Careful planning is a kind of goal-setting that gives significance to our lives since it requires devotion, hard effort, and tenacity to achieve.
Some people feel our culture has gotten obsessed with planning. We frequently speak about constructing for the future, but what about building the now? We all want true pleasure, and to experience it, we must live in the now. Focusing only on the future causes tension and negative thoughts and even uncertainty to enter our thought processes.
Why should you concentrate on living now instead of preparing too far ahead?
1. Right now is the only moment you can control.
No matter how much you plan, you can never predict how life will unfold. You will only know when you are there.
The only moment you can control is this one right now. You may either appreciate or despise the situation. And of course, you may also choose to squander the moment by ignoring it, but the choice is yours.
Planning won’t get you out of the moment. It may help you achieve your objectives, but it will not enhance your current quality of life. Planning for the future won’t ensure a desirable result, so why not focus on the now?
2. Enjoy every minute in the now.
Nobody knows how many moments you will get to experience. This is vital to understand. Nobody knows when their next moment will be gone. Your next moment isn’t specific, so why not make the most of it?
You can’t have this perspective if you’re always planning your next level. You can only feel this excitement for life by living in the now. It’s trite and impractical, but it’s true.
Don’t waste time. Plan when needed, but not at the price of enjoying the moment. Life is brief, so enjoy it while you can.
3. Being present reduces stress.
Too much future and past thinking generate stress. Some of the stress that comes from not living now may be harmful to one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Yes, your thinking takes a controlled effort to remain within a balanced life — but the effort will be worth it.
The over-planners hinder themselves from living in the present and cause unneeded tension in their life. Invigorate your life with present-focused living practices.
You certainly don’t have time to meditate for five hours a day and not make plans for the future, but making tiny adjustments will help decrease stressors and help you be able to get a jump on the inevitable problems that come up in life.
Observe when your mind starts focusing on the future instead of the current moment. Ask yourself whether this is required. Being conscious of your thoughts can help you be more present.
4. Plans seldom come to fruition as expected, so live in the now.
Know that you have planned the best you know-how, and expect that things don’t always turn out as your plan dictates whether you like it or not. How often have you attempted to plan something that didn’t work out? What happened? Did you become offended, or did you accept and comprehend the situation, do something else, or move forward?
Plans go awry. You fail a lot as an imperfect species. It is inevitable.
Trying to plan every stage of your life is tricky and unhealthy. Plan for the best — but be determined that you will not be annoyed or disturbed when those plans don’t work out.
You don’t have to prepare for the worst — just have contingency plans here and there in your life — then, just let life happen and be.
Make preparations if that helps you, but don’t lose sight of the moment. If your plans don’t work out, try to accept them.
5. Being present makes you happy now and in the future
Some people don’t like using the term “makes you happier” since nothing makes you happier than yourself. With that in mind, living in the now is one of the surest ways to achieve true joy in your life. But, yes, happiness is a choice most of the time.
Without going into all the statistics and studies, it is clear that living in the now is one of the most important keys to happiness. Too much long-term planning will keep you from enjoying the moment.
Take a moment each day and observe how living in the now has made you feel? How can you make a better plan? How can you remain in the present if your plans take a dive off the planned course? Plan when necessary, but keep an eye on the present.
Strike a balance between spontaneity and forethought. You can only control the present moment.
You’ve heard it before if you’ve worked on mindfulness at all — this moment is a gift. Try to believe that and be okay with the statement. Enjoying the present reduces stress. Recognize that plans don’t always go as planned. Accept the moment and be joyful.
Plan as you see fit. Save for a family and a home — then invest in yourself. Set and achieve objectives. As you plan, put yourself first and don’t lose sight of where you are now.
Image Credit: Shalom De Leon; Pexels; Thank you!
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.