Learn From The Past, But Look Ahead
There are many components to living out a healthy, fulfilling and meaningful life. Although there are nearly 7 billion people living on planet earth, no two people are exactly the same. Human beings are all so similar, yet still so very different, all with different gifts, talents and potentials. While the age old question about the exact meaning of life continues to be debated, one thing is for sure that no one can escape the hands of father time. Although everyone has a past and it’s important to remember where you came from, the best way to live life is through the present, otherwise time will pass you by in the blink of an eye.
Happiness in life is really all about one’s mindset. Harping on parts of one’s past, whether positive or negative, really does no good for an individual and in fact can be detrimental to allowing you to move forward in life. Living in the present is beneficial because it can:
- Reduce stress
- Make you more productive
- Make you assertive
- Extend your life expectancy
The Present Is A Gift
There’s a saying that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift from God and that’s why it’s called the present. Every day that you wake up, you should be grateful that you have another day to live on the wonderful planet earth. Living in the present should cause you to reflect, count your blessings and seize the day. It’s important to realize that there are many things in life that are beyond your control, so worrying about any past mistakes and failures and worrying what will happen in your future is really pointless. What’s happened in your past is over and done with, which means there’s nothing you can do to change what’s happened. While what’s to come in your life still has not happened, it is still not worth your time to worry about what might happen in your future. If you live in the present, it will likely turn into a bright future.
Living in the present can reduce the stress in your life because instead of worrying about what might happen tomorrow, you’ll be focused on the day and moments at hand. There is a verse in Srimad Bhagavad Gita (the preaching of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna), which translates to: “You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions. Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you won’t be attached to not doing your duty.” What this essentially means is that when your mind is not plagued by thoughts about the final outcome or result, you can focus all your energy onto performing the task with full dedication. Therefore, living in the present helps you live with a clear mind and ultimately can increase your productivity.
Be At Your Happiest
At the end of the day, everything that a person does in life is ultimately in an effort to be happy. Life is best enjoyed when you are truly happy with who you are and the best way to achieve this is through living in the present. When you are successfully living in the present, you are responding to a situation in life with a clear mind. You are taking in the facts, sizing them up, and consciously applying any relevant experience or problem-solving skill to deal with them. You are not operating on assumptions, and you are continually breaking down what you are doing into its simplest forms.
It’s not necessarily always easy to think in the present, and it can take some serious training to get yourself to think in a way that will make you as happy as possible. The first step to thinking in the present is to realize that in order for you to truly enjoy yourself in the moment you have to let go of any thoughts from your past and even your future. This can be hard to do, especially for the deep thinker, but living in the moment will truly allow you to really take in all of the beauty of your life. You may even notice things that you otherwise would not if you were harping on your past or worrying about the future.
Use The Present Wisely
People have been struggling with living in the present versus worrying about the future for centuries. In the Bible, Matthew 6:34 reads “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” This is a verse that many people struggle with when trying to live in the present. Since time is fleeting, so too is the present. The present is where we live, but the future is where we’re going to spend the rest of our lives. Therefore it is necessary to use some of the present to plan for the future.
Think about certain things in life that had you not planned them, they would have never come to fruition. Whether it is your application to college, your interview for that job or your plans for a nice vacation, you need to make plans in the present in order for the future to happen. While this may be true, there are still ways to use the present wisely and effectively in order to make sure your future will be a blissful one.
Use Common Sense
Ultimately there are no guarantees in life, so having a plan is essential to staying afloat and making sure you are happy. Constantly worrying about the future will make you stressed though, so try to find a balance of using the present to make plans while not overly worrying about parts of life that are out of your control. As the age-old saying goes, there are only two guarantees in life – death and taxes. While this is very true, there are many ways that one is able to use the present to live a life that is happy and virtually worry free. There are many parts of life that will be out of your control and so this is just something you must accept (just deal with it!). Since everyone is different, you need to find the right balance to living in the present while still making sure your affairs are in order. And when it comes to worrying, just remember that if it’s not fatal, then it’s no big deal!