"Learn from the past, look to the future, but live in the present."~ Petra Nemcova
Have you ever been driving somewhere…somewhere you go often…and when you get there you don’t remember driving most of the way? Have you ever sat down to eat something and suddenly realized that you are looking at an empty plate, not remembering eating the meal? These types of things are something that most of us experience…or should I say, don’t experience?
We get used to our everyday routines. We do many things the same, on a frequent basis. We go to work, or school, we come home, we eat our evening meal…and much of it goes unnoticed. It is sad, but true. Most of us only really pay attention to what is happening when it is something completely new to us…and even then, we are not always present.
For some reason, our society spends much of its time outside of the present. Sometimes we are focused on the future, on our goals and dreams…and sometimes we are focused on reviewing and analyzing what has happened to us in the past. Unfortunately, while we spend our time in the future or the past, we miss the actual act of living. We miss the present moment, and soon we find ourselves wondering “where the time went.”
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with taking a look at what we want our future to look like. This is where our desires lie. But once we know what we desire, there is only one time we can do anything to make them happen, and that is right now. We cannot act in the future. The only time we can have any effect on our future is right now…in the present.
And action is where it is at. By acting today, in the present, we shape our future…but we are acting today. I am not a believer that it takes great effort in our actions to bring our lives to align our lives with our dreams, but I do believe that we need to take some action…usually it is inspired action, that, at the time, seems like the next logical step. In my mind, a goal or a dream without action is merely a wish.
I am also not saying that reviewing and analyzing the past is always a bad thing. It is a good thing to look at what happened because of our actions or the actions of others, and to learn from it…for the next time you are in a similar situation or when you want similar (or quite different) results. But once the learning is done, it is just wasting our present to remain in the past, lamenting mistakes, or laying blame for our current circumstances.
The past cannot be changed, but our perception of the past can be changed, and that changes the way we think about it. Perhaps we can apply new learning to our past actions and logically determine how things might have become different. Perhaps we can see that we didn’t have the full picture, and so how we think of the past events, now with a clearer view, changes the events…but the only time we can change this perspective is now…in the present.
So you see, there really is nothing you can do in the future or the past…there is only now in which you can take action to change things for the future. There is only now to be able to change our perspective on the past…even our learning from the past happens in the present.
There has never, nor will there ever be, anything that you experience, see, do, or have, that happens at any time outside of the present.
There is no time like but the present.
Live now. Be aware of what is happening now. Enjoy now, for now is all you will ever have. It is always your choice of whether you live in the present or exist while spending all of your time in the future and the past. The only time you will ever be happy is now. The only time you will ever be is now.
Do you choose to live in the present? What will you do to live more of your life experiencing – truly experiencing – the present? Leave a comment below. Our community is interested. We’re listening.