When you live in the moment, meaning you are fully present and engaged mentally and emotionally only with what you are doing right now, then you live life to the full.
Life is lived in the now. You can only live your life in the present moment. The question is whether you squander your life by spending your time in the past or the future?
There are essentially two types of travellers in this world. There are those who are consumed by ‘ticking boxes’ and traveling to all the ‘major attractions’ just to say that they’ve been there and done that.
Then there are those who truly travel for the experience of traveling and who soak up everything along the way.
The real purpose of travelling is not to reach a destination, but to travel.
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.Wayne Dyer
This is also true in the journey of life. So many people go through life reaching for destinations and they end up never ‘traveling’.
They go through life ‘ticking boxes’ and never really experience the joy of the journey in-between ticking boxes.
Reaching important milestones in your life or accomplishing certain goals will be fleeting moments of your life.
The vast majority of your life will be lived in-between the accomplishments and the ticking of boxes.
Where Your Attention Goes Your Energy Flows
Wherever your mind is, that is where you are. See, your whole life is actually lived within the confines of your mind. It is not what happens to you, but how you process it in your mind.
Wherever you put your focus is where your attention will be.
So often we fall into the trap of the ‘someday-somewhere’ mentality, where we think that ‘someday’ when we are somewhere else or with someone else or with something else…then we will be happy.
We almost live in this ‘other place’ that we aspire to and we end up forgetting where we are right now – which is all we’ve really got anyway.
Think of your attention as a form of currency. Every your focus is on the past or on the future, you spend that energy.
When you spend your energy on a past you can not change and a future that has not happened you end up with no energy to spend here and now.
Ultimately you can only live your life in the present. If you reserve your energy for the present moment you will be energized, inspired and grateful.
The Meaning of Living in The Moment
Life is lived in the ‘now’. Now is all you will ever really own. Although you can escape to some future place in your mind, a place that you think will make you happy, you only really want that to experience that in a moment of ‘now’ anyway.
When you live in the moment, all your attention, energy and focus is fully present.
Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.– Mother Teresa
It’s only when you are firmly rooted in the present moment and when all of you is here, that you can really experience something fully.
As long as you are haunted by a past or chased by a future your energy and attention will always be distracted.
Being firmly rooted in the present does not negate having goals and aspiring to great things.
In fact, it requires that.
An awareness of where you’ve been and a vision for where you are going will color your experience of now. Set your course for where you want to go and then make sure that you are firmly rooted in the present.
Your life requires your mindful presence in order to live it. Be here now.– Akiroq Brost
If you are driving your car and you are focused on something a mile ahead of you, you will miss both the hazards and the beauty that is right in front of you.
Always remember that the purpose of traveling is not to reach a destination, but to travel – it’s all about the experience.
The danger in always being focused on some future goal or accomplishment is that it distracts us from taking action right here, right now.
Procrastination is almost always the result of being too focussed on the future.
When your mind is at some place in the future, you tend to absorb all the potential problems that this (imaginary) future might hold.
Since most of our fears are only imaginary we tend to start imagining potential problems and challenges.
That breeds procrastination.
Remember that procrastination is designed to ‘protect’ you from unpleasant tasks and to keep you from taking action on those things that will be unpleasant.
The Power of Now
When you are rooted in the future you will continuously fabricate situations and circumstances that will encourage procrastination.
When you are rooted in the present you will be empowered to take action because all you have to deal with is what’s in front of you.
If you were conscious, that is to say totally present in the Now, all negativity would dissolve almost instantly. It could not survive in your presence.– Eckhart Tolle
There is immense power in ‘now’. When you are firmly rooted in where you are instead of where you want to be in some non-descript future, then you are mobilized.
Procrastination immobilizes you and even if you know where you want to travel to, you will remain stranded in indecision and fear.
You will be overwhelmed by everything that you think you still need to do to get you where you are not.
If you are focused on the now, then all you have to do is what you can do right now with exactly where you are right now and with exactly what you’ve got right now.
You don’t need to wait for anything to be different before you can take action.
Your attention is focused on what you can do NOW.
This is empowering.
It’s true that action will not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
Procrastination steals your future by stealing your present moments. Be in the present moment.
It will free you from the fears and problems that will keep you locked up in procrastination and indecision. To overcome procrastination, look at what’s right in front of you and start there.
Always ask yourself ‘what you can do right now?’ – and do that!
Never waste your present moments with what you ‘could have’ or ‘should have’ done and don’t be held captive by your future. This will only dilute the energy you have.
Always be mindful of where your head is at, because that is where you are, and where you are is what will determine what you will or will not do.
Being Present and Live In The Moment With Others
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they just seem completely disinterested in what you have to say?
They almost can’t wait for you to finish just so that they can make their next point. They are not present.
One of the greatest gifts you can give anyone is to be truly present with them. So many parents spend “time” with their kids but having your body present is not presence.
When you live in the moment, meaning NO distractions, you listen. You truly listen. You are active and engaged. You are interested and not concerned about what you can say next of what you will get out of the encounter.
Being in the moment with others is a gift you give them.
When you are fully present with someone else they know it and they feel it. This is a great gift to give your family, your friends, your co-workers or even a stranger.
People want to be heard, feel important and significant. Being present with some gives them that gift.
Checking your phone mid-conversation, interrupting them or drifting off in your mind is not what being present is about.
How to Start Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice of “emptying” your mind. When you empty your mind you can become more present in your life and remove much of the inner chatter that is driving you crazy.
If you are anything like the average person then you probably check your emails, messages, Facebook and Instagram several times a day.
This is a distraction. You give your energy and your attention to something that has very little value.
Most of the time, you eat as a form of distraction. You binge watch Netflix because it is a distraction.
All distractions are mechanisms to avoid doing the important “work” in your life. This important work is the work of looking inside.
Mindfulness is a meditation practice that is designed to help you become more present and become intensely focussed on the present moment.
This is not some complicated meditation practice. You can start doing it right now.
Find a quiet place to sit down and if you can put on some headphones on with calming music. Be sure you won’t be interrupted for the next 10 minutes.
Close your eyes and start paying attention to your breathing. Notice your breath in and your breath out. When your mind starts wondering, come back to your breathing.
Be intensely focussed on the present moment. When your mind starts drifting, come back to the breathing.
Just do this for 10 minutes. At first it will feel like an hour but as you learn to focus better you will start craving this meditation.
The ability to empty your mind and free yourself from the immediate demands on your life is liberating. It allows you to be fully present with your Self, right here in the moment.
The nagging regrets of the past and the incessant urges by your ego for achieving some idealistic future gives way to a sense of peace.
Ultimate that is what living in the moment means.