“I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours now, are my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day.”
We’ve all heard clichés like “live for the moment”, “seize the day”, and “stop and smell the roses”, these statements are calling you to live for the moment. But, why should you live in the moment? After all, you learn from the past and you can’t plan without thinking about the future. Living in the past, though, causes us to be miserable because we’re human, and humans make mistakes, and mistakes foster regret. Living in the future although motivating, will cause you to miss out on so many beautiful things in life.
I believe that living in the moment is difficult, but vital to becoming the best you you can be and getting the most out of life. Allow the present to endure. Give the present more space.
You think living in the moment would be quite easy, but too often as we replay past moments in our head or worry about the future, we miss all the beauty that is playing out in front of us. Our mind views time as a linear and continuous process. Isaac Newton described time as a river flowing at the same rate everywhere. You reading that last sentence is now in the past, and the breath you next take is in the future, but when you aren’t living in the present you become a victim of time. Time has control of you and yanks your mind into the past of regrets or the future of fears.
Time is just a metric for measuring history. Time is not a tangible thing it's simply an illusion. The present exists, the past and future do not. To not live in the present is to be torn between two worlds that don’t even actually exist.
Think of it this way. The you today is not the same you as yesterday’s or tomorrow’s you. Your lifespan in essence is comprised of thousands of “yous”. Who you are today is completely different than who you were 10 years ago and who knows who you’ll be in 10 years. The past you and future you aren’t actually you. They’re more like relatives to you. You can blame your past self for your mistakes, while being able to remove yourself from your past regrets because you’re no longer that person. You can plan for the future but anxiety and worry should not plague you. You don’t need to know whether or not your future self will be happy, because your future self is not you and does not yet exist.
When you live in the present you’re going to be a much happier, less stressed person. You have no control over the past or the future. The only thing you can monitor is the present moment. I’m not saying to give up planning and dreaming, or to stop learning from your past mistakes. I am saying to stop allowing the past and the future to be your focus.Focusing on time too much only leads to stress and negativity.
Building for the future is important, but building for the now is vital. Now is your eternity. Make it count.