"Learn from the past, look to the future, but live in the present."~ Petra Nemcova
I’m sure you have experienced it. You are driving to work, or somewhere that you drive often, and when you arrive you have no recollection of much of the trip. This happens to all of us in many areas of our lives. There is really nothing wrong with it, but I feel that it deprives us of a wonderful opportunity to be present and deliberate about what we are doing.
Now you might think that doing some of the repetitive and mundane tasks in our lives is not worth the effort of being deliberate and present minded. You may even feel that it would be a waste of energy and effort. I have a different view of this.
I feel that in paying attention to what we are doing, and doing things with a purpose, deliberately choosing how we perform these tasks, any tasks, is integral to our understanding of life, to our peace of mind, and to living our lives with joy and appreciation.
Within everything we do, within each thought, within each action, and within each reaction or response to what is happening around us, we have the opportunity to choose. We can choose to appreciate every little aspect, operating deliberately, working toward our outcome, or to just let things unfold naturally and without a plan.
The Universe is always responding to our thoughts and actions. It is attracting the people, places, things, and events that make up our lives. It is bringing these to us in response to what we are thinking. It will happen whether or not we choose what we are thinking and doing, or if we are just going with default thoughts and actions…either way, the Universe is responding. So, given the choice, I choose to think my thoughts and perform my actions deliberately…with intent.
I say this, but it is not always the case. As time goes on and I become more and more aware of my thoughts, I find myself choosing my thought deliberately more often…but I am human, and I am not practiced enough to do this all the time. Perhaps I will never be practiced enough, but it doesn’t matter. When I do remember, I choose my thoughts.
My reasoning is that, by deliberately choosing my thoughts, I am deliberately choosing the way my life looks, feels, and flows. I am in control and I am creating my life. I am always creating my life, but in my past this was more often than not just by default. With deliberate intent, I find my life moving in the direction I want it to go.
Be Present Minded
Being present minded, or keeping our mind in the present as we go through our day is something that, again, has taken a lot of practice to get better at.
When you perform a task, even the simplest task with a view to mindfulness and being present, you find that it is almost like a meditation. Holding the task and all that is involved at the forefront of your mind has a calming effect. It also allows you to take the opportunity to appreciate what you are doing…including the fact that you can, if you so chose, do this without really thinking about it.
When you are present minded, you might find that you come across opportunities and thoughts for how to improve what you are doing. You might find that being present is a great way to release stress…after all, you are present, and so the past and the future are not in your mind…you aren’t worried about what you need to do next, or what you should have done. With practice, you will find that being present is very calming.
One of the most important things about being present, being in the moment, is that it allows you to really experience the journey of your life. The present moment is all that you really have. It is where everything actually happens, yet we seldom really grasp that. We spend much of our time in the past and the future, times that we cannot affect. When we are present we actually get to experience our lives in real time.
I am not saying that thinking about the past and future are bad, but you must not dwell there. The past cannot be changed. The future is uncertain. You only have the present, and if you spend all of your time in the past and future, you will miss your life and all of the wonderful things that are happening within it. You will miss the journey.
Do you spend your time doing things deliberately? Do you do things with a present minded attitude? Are you living your life, or is life just happening while you are busy thinking about the past or dreaming about the future? Leave us a comment and let the community know where you fall on the spectrum. Share your ideas on how to become better at being deliberate and present minded. Share your successes at doing this. We are listening…and we are interested.