At a training program I once attended, the trainer explained that when we worry, we are negative goal setting. In other words, we are bringing into our lives the very things we do not want because we are giving energy and focus to them.
We often get so caught up with the future and how our lives will be months or years from now that we fail to recognise that the only moment we have is the present. Even though we know we cannot change anything that has happened to us in the past, we still can easily fall into the trap of dwelling on the past and wishing that things had been different or better.
Similarly, becoming too focused or driven to create a better future can result in us missing the beauty, wonder, joy and miracles that are around us right now. While there is a lot of value in knowing where we want to go in the future, it does not mean we obsess about the future and forget to really enjoy and appreciate the only thing we will ever have — this present moment.
The benefits of living in the present moment include:
- Detaching ourselves from the past or future which means we can appreciate what we have in life now.
- It eliminates stress from our lives as we only have to focus on the present moment.
- It reduces overwhelm as we can choose to do only what we can at any given moment.
- It will help us be more relaxed and have a healthy attitude.
One of the most valuable things I have learned is how not to be attached to my goals or the future I want to create. One of my mentors teaches this concept called “high intention and low attachment,” which means that we must have clear intentions on what we want to create in life, but not be attached to how it is going to manifest.
What that does is open us up to all possibilities instead of becoming so caught with how we think something is going to happen. As a result of learning that concept, I have been able to release how I will achieve my goals and just focus on the daily actions I can take and trust that things will work out for the best.
It is highly beneficial to stop worrying about the future and start living more in the moment. Here are five practical and simple ways to start living more in the now instead of the past or the future.
- Practice surrendering and the art of allowing. At a presentation I once attended given by Oprah Winfrey, she shared that when we surrender, especially during times of struggle, it does not mean we are giving up, it simply means we are letting go of our attachment to the outcomes we want. Instead, we should allow things to unfold as they will, but still have an intention of what we want to accomplish.
- Focus on something greater than you. Instead of focusing only on what we can gain if we achieve a goal of ours, focusing on how it will benefit others will be a lot more rewarding. When we are in service to others, we feel a lot more joy and satisfaction because we’ve transcended beyond our current challenges, and are more accepting of what is playing out for us.
- Spend more time living your passions. As Janet Attwood, author of The Passion Test, says, “Our passions are like breadcrumbs, leading us on to fulfil our life’s purpose.” One of the best ways to starting living in the now is to do the things we were meant to do in this lifetime. Could there be anything more valuable than doing the things we love?
- Be kind to yourself. We are often our biggest critic and tend to judge ourselves a lot harshly than what other people do. A lot of our self-judgement is because we often believe we should be further along in life than where we currently are. By practicing more self-care and self-love, we will be more inclined to accept ourselves fully and embrace the life we have created for ourselves.
- Practice gratitude daily. The ultimate measure of how much we are living in the present is through our gratitude practice. Being grateful daily is a mindset, which is an indication of how well we are experiencing life on a day-to-day or moment-to-moment basis. A true measure of how grateful we are is when we can be grateful for an outcome we want that has not yet happened.
The best gifts we can give ourselves is to learn more about who we really are and start living life fully now, instead of waiting for a condition to be satisfied first before enjoying life. We never know how much time we have left, so it is up to us to live life the best way we can in this present moment.
Question: What can be another thing we can do to start living more in the present moment?
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