While it's important to both learn from the past and plan for the future, the fact is that the moment you're really living in is this one. So, as much as possible, we must strive to focus on this moment, right now.
The more you dwell on past mistakes, or fret about what may or may not happen one day in the future, the more you miss out on right now. You also run a risk of becoming bogged down by regret and feelings of inadequacy on the one hand, or overwhelmed by anxiety and fear of the unknown on the other.
So, today I'd like to discuss a few simple ways that you can start practicing living in the moment, and savouring it.
Consciously focusing on what you're doing right now – what you're eating, the view, the fresh air, the words you're reading, the sound of your child's laughter – is one way to accomplish living in the moment.
If you notice your mind wandering to your presentation at work next week, or worries about your kid's college fund, be stern with yourself, and refocus on the now.
Learning to accept your past life can go a long way in living for the moment.
Don't dwell on how things might have gone differently had you acted differently, or had circumstances been better. Accept that what has happened is unalterable, and approach the now (and the future) from that perspective.
Life doesn't always go as planned, so accept that fact for what it is, and move forward.
Don't wait for the weekend or your vacation to have fun and relax.
Find time every day for these things. They're important.
Even if you have a busy schedule, make time for a book and a cup of tea in the evening, an early morning stroll, or your hobby. Fifteen minutes with your crochet hook or 20 minutes in the weight room are better than no minutes at all!
And when weekends and vacations arrive, focus on the enjoyment, and not on when the relaxation and fun will end. Thinking about that will just make it all seem to go by faster.
Lastly, look for the aspects of your daily tasks that will keep you engaged and motivated.
This can be tricky if you have a job that you don't find mentally challenging, or worse, that you find frustrating and stressful. But in spite of these challenges, look for any small things that will keep you focused on, and interested in, what's happening in the moment.
The more control you can take over aspects of your work, the happier and more productive you'll be.
Next time you find yourself dwelling too much on past or future events, reign yourself in, and give your “now" the attention it deserves. In a way, right now is the only moment that exists, so live in it!