“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
We rush to work.
Rush through our meals without even tasting our food or remembering what we ate.
Even when we’re on vacation, we’re always rushing.
It appears many of us are operating on the belief that we don’t rush, we won’t have time.
But time for what?
Every second that passes is a moment of our lives that we’ll never get back. Time, of all the things one has, is the most valuable.
We can never get more time, we can only manage the time we already have.
And while rushing from one thing to another — to “save time” — may seem like a sensible solution, rushing through our lives — as if it’s only the “highlights” that matter — is to sacrifice the vast majority of the moments that our lives are made up of.
“One day at a time, this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” — Ida Scott Taylor
Rather than be present in the here and now, aware of our thoughts, our bodies, and our surroundings, we zone out and go through the motions — waiting for the moments that “matter”, not realizing how valuable every one that passes actually is.
Because the truth is, every moment matters when the future is guaranteed to no one.
When we live our lives as if the best things in life are always scheduled at some distant time that we are rushing to get to, we fail to truly experience the here and now.
And as it turns out, staying in the moment tends to yield greater happiness and greater appreciation and gratitude for the individual moments in life than constantly reaching for things that are forever beyond our grasp.
In his Ted Talk, Want to be happier? Stay in the moment (video), Matt Killingsworth says:
“Our ability to focus on something other than the present is an amazing ability it allows us to learn and reason and plan in ways that no other species can.” However, … “People are substantially less happy when their minds wander than when they are not” … “when our minds wander we often think about things which are unpleasant … our worries, our anxieties our regrets.”
Just something to consider the next time you find yourself rushing from one thing to the next without being mindful of the moments already passing.
“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” — Alan Watts
- Stop wishing for more time
- The power of focus
- Offsite: One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time
- Offsite: Depression, anxiety, or peace?
- Offsite: There are no ordinary moments
- Offsite: Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way
- Offsite: Between stimulus and response there is a space