We occasionally get the reminder to focus on whatâ€™s going on in the present moment.
Because some people have their heads stuck in the future with the mentality of â€śWhen I get to that point in the future, then I can start to enjoy my lifeâ€ť.
Still others have their heads stuck in the past, reliving and clinging to the glory of the old days and in the midst of this future and past oriented thinking, life gets destroyed in the process. We lose the moments in front of us and those moments are all we really have in the end.
The trouble is, all of this sounds great in theory. Itâ€™s very moving, very profound, and makes us really think about the present. We start to notice and experience whatâ€™s going on in the present for a couple hours, but we soon forget about it and our minds begin to wander off into the future or the past (depending on the individual).
To illustrate how important it is that you focus on the present, think about whatâ€™s going through your mind on the journey to achieve your goal. Youâ€™re so intent and focused (for the most part) on that moment of triumph and victory, when all your blood, sweat, and tears have paid off, and yet when we get to that moment, the results are not what we expected them to be.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, it feels good, but then an eerie feeling comes over us. The question of â€śNow what?â€ť starts tugging at our minds because our minds have been so tuned to the future that we are not comfortable with the present.
Youâ€™ve been living so far in the future that you forget to live the present. You forgot how to experience and enjoy the present so when that inevitable triumph of victory comes, itâ€™s not as great as you expected it to be.
There is so much to experience now that it boggles the mind.
Glance at any object on your desk for a couple of seconds and then look away.
Then take a look at the object again, but this time, fully observe it. Observe that object and only that object. Youâ€™re going to find details and characteristics that you never saw before and get an entirely different impression and perspective of that object than before.
Similarly, when you focus on the now, you can â€śsoak upâ€ť everything that moment has to offer and fully extract all the benefits from it. This applies to all sorts of situations in your life.
For example, when someone is talking to you, fully listen to what he/she has to say. Most people look elsewhere or think about something else while the other person is talking. Theyâ€™re not fully in that moment. What happens? The obvious thing is they miss out on what the person was saying. The relationship between the two people may become damaged. They may have missed out on a hidden meaning. Whatever the case is, they lose out because they were not fully in that moment.
Another reason why focusing on the now is so powerful is because it eradicates all worries we may project in the future because it simply leaves no room for it. Our physical, mental, and emotional energies are all centered around one point in time so thereâ€™s no room for worries, fears, and other distractions to cloud it.
So how do we focus on the now?
Keep the future end goal in mind, backpedal, and direct your attention to the present moment through conscious choice. What I mean by conscious choice is that you consciously choose to completely focus on whatever youâ€™re doing now. Fully immerse yourself in it. Discipline yourself to focus on that task and only that task. Itâ€™s hard to do, but youâ€™ll find its well worth it.
If we do our best to fully do the things in front of us with excellence, thereâ€™s no need to worry about the future, because our future for the most part (not all) is dictated by what we do now.
I know that sounds pretty obvious, but it gets a little scary if you think about it a bit more because as youâ€™re doing what youâ€™re doing right now, there are millions of possibilities for your future, but they slowly begin to collapse to one based on what you do now.
So if you want the best possibility for your future, do your best right now.
When you eat, really eat. Set aside some time. Sit down. Donâ€™t stand up. Taste the flavor. Let it savor in your mouth. Chew slowly and swallow. Enjoy it. Your future will look bright health wise.
When you read that self improvement book, really read that book. Lose yourself in it. Soak up as much information from it as you can. Get to understand it completely. Your future will be positively shaped from the experience of that book.
When you tackle a task, immerse yourself in that task and commit to doing your very best. Your future will be positively shaped as a result of doing just that.
Each moment is 100% unique so give it your full attention and fully experience everything that moment has to offer.
Once you start doing this, itâ€™s as if a ton of weight gets lifted off your shoulders. You no longer carry the burden of what may or may not come, but rather increase the odds of getting what you want to come by focusing all your attention on what you can do right now, because that moment is entirely within your control.
But like anything else worth doing, we must practice until it becomes a habit.
Some people may ask: What about visualizing the future? Doesnâ€™t that contradict the notion of focusing on the now? And what about the past? Are you saying you shouldnâ€™t reminisce about the past?
Of course not.
As humans we have the ability to dream AND to look back and we should NOT shun these things. Iâ€™m not saying you should never think about the future or the past. I like a good reminiscing just as much as the next person and I like visualizing as well, but if thatâ€™s all we do, then itâ€™s easy to do nothing in the present. Balance is key.
Itâ€™s like the car analogy. You try to look miles ahead or you look back most of the time so you donâ€™t clearly see whatâ€™s in front of you and as a result, youâ€™re very likely to crash.
When itâ€™s time to focus on the past, be fully in that moment now. When it comes time to focus on visualizing the future, be fully in that moment now. When it comes time to focus on whatâ€™s in front of us now, be fully in that moment as well.
Do everything 100% at the present time because not only then do you get to truly experience your life for what it really is, but you also begin to simultaneously create the life you want in the future.