The Past and the Future Form the Present

June 7, 2016

Time is so fleeting that the line you just finished reading has already become the past, and the future, all the thoughts you have about what comes next in this article, lies before you.

So, what is left? The present

The past has gone, what awaits you has not yet come, but the present is yours. 

The past is that which has left 

The past is important for showing us our mistakes and our good decisions. Thinking about the past is essential for understanding the present.

Our path in life needs to have a meaning and we need to know where we have come from to know where we are going.

Analyzing what we have done in the past and making comparisons with our current present can help us create and develop the storyline that narrates our life.

black and white photos present

Without memories, we wouldn’t be anyone. Even emotional memory, or recollections that are based on feelings, is fundamental for understanding who we are.

The negative side of this is the possibility of living constantly chained to negative memories. We can fall into this trap, and analyze these torturous memories over and over again, as if we could change what happened and its outcome. These are the thoughts that follow the question… what would have happened if…? 

Naturally, it is important to expel the emotional pain and discomfort this kind of question can cause in us, or we risk becoming paralyzed both our present and our future. The past is based in our language; it is the story of our lives that we tell ourselves. 

If we struggle with this, a good way to search for tools that can help us analyze the way in which we talk to and about ourselves may be to turn to a psychologist.

The more you think and worry about the past, the less you will live in the present. 

The future is the sum of many moments 

The future is that which we project and predict about our world. Thinking about the future is fundamental for decision-making and planning the next steps of our life.

Our future also needs to have meaning and, we must, more or less, know clearly what our objectives are. It is also important to be able to act in the present.

Planning our strategies and establishing future goals motivates us to continue carrying out actions which don’t have immediate results.

The path we take is made up of small steps toward our destiny. This stimulates us to be consistent and persistent in the process of achieving something that will benefit us in the future.

However, the future is also a double-edged sword. There are many things in life that we are unable to control. In fact, trying too hard to control these things can turn us into anxious people constantly seeking the answers in advance.

If we lose ourselves in the future, we will be sailing into uncharted waters.

The future requires hundreds of rough drafts. 

Living in the present means being in the here and now 

The time we are living in is right in front of our eyes. We can touch it, and we can change it with our actions and decisions.

girl jumping in field present

Living in the present means living in the here and now. It means being committed to what we can do to live in the current moment.

Everything we do now, after reading this article for example, is our present. The influence of the present is so powerful that we can change our future with our decisions, and either forget about or give meaning to our past.

The present offers us all of the possibilities that we have, and those that we choose. 

Denying the present means being paralyzed by fear of the future and its imagined consequences. It can also mean being immobilized by our past experiences.

It is clear that we must value everything around us, but we should not let our present be overly influenced by the past, nor the future. 

How many things do you miss out on because of memories of the past, or fear of the future?