Learning to Live in the Moment

Too often do I get lost in the future.

I am constantly a week, a month, or even a year ahead in my mind. How I wish I could simply slow down and appreciate this exact moment in time—though, thoughts of the future are all too alluring.

How will right now impact all that is to come?

By living in constant anticipation, I fail to appreciate a moment in time for what it is. And, I guarantee, that moment is a gift—a gift that I will never get back, a gift that fades with time, a gift that only means as much as you let it.

I wanted nothing more than to easily, and happily, live in the present. So, I sought out to create a strategy (so to speak) to ensure my mind stops wandering to times that don’t mean anything yet. The following are questions that help keep me grounded.

Where are you in this moment?

You may be reading this on your break at work. Or you’re reading this on mobile as you wait for public transportation. Perhaps you’re at home, at a friend’s house, or laying in bed.

What matters is that you give recognition to where you are.

Currently, I am at my desk. Jazz music is playing and I have lit a candle in celebration of the nearing arrival of Fall. I am nowhere else, just as my mind isn’t either. I allow myself to think about things only pertaining to what I’m working on, where I am, and how I feel at the moment.

The trick? As soon as your mind begins to wander, focus on something tangible in your current environment. For example: if I start to worry about my work week starting tomorrow, I look at the candle and think about how nice it smells. It sounds silly, but it works.

What are you feeling?

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Motivation because your work day may almost be over? Impatience due to the terrible traffic on the way home? Gratitude towards your friends as you make plans together?

Recognize it. Feel it. Hold onto it.

When we think back on the memories we make, it is more often than not the feelings that we remember. The joy. The sorrow. The longing. The love. These are all part of what makes being human wonderful; don’t let these feelings go unnoticed.

How do you want to remember today?

Our minds are incredibly powerful, and the way we choose to think has great impact on how we remember certain points in our lives.

If today was bad, embrace it.

If today was just as any other day, pick out the smallest detail that even slightly sets it apart.

If today was life-changing, write about it. Paint about it. Write a song about it. Hell, simply talk about it.

Point is, each day should have significant meaning. Choose how you’d like to remember it. While some is out of our control, decide how certain things live out in your memory and continue to move forward.

At the end of the day, that’s all we can really do. And y’know what? That’s pretty cool.

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