The Present Moment Is Always Where You Are
To a large degree, the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment. Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year, and what may or may not happen tomorrow, the present moment is where you are — always. Without question, many of us have mastered the neurotic art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things — all at once. We allow past problems and future concerns to dominate our present moments, so much so that we end up anxious, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless.
On the flip side, we also postpone ourgratification, our stated priorities, and our happiness, often convincing ourselves that “someday” will be better than today. Unfortunately, the same mental dynamics that tell us to look toward the future will only repeat themselves so that “someday” never actually arrives. John Lennon once said, “Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans. ” When we’re busy making “other plans”, our children are busy growing up, the people we love are moving away and dying, our bodies are getting out of shape, and our dreams are slipping away.
In short, we miss out on life. Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date. It isn’t. In fact, no one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow. Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over. When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds. Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future — we won’t have enough money, our children will get into trouble, we will get old and die, whatever.
To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present. Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. ” I don’t think I can say it any better. Practice keeping your attention on the here and now. Your efforts will pay great dividends.