The Importance of Living in the Present

Living and appreciating the present moment is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Find out why here.
The Importance of Living in the Present

Last update: 07 January, 2022

Living in the present moment is something you’re probably well aware of, but don’t carry out. That’s because you’re always rushing, working, and feeling stressed. In fact, every day is the same. As a matter of fact, it’s only when you’re sick or faced with an adverse situation that you become aware of the here and now, of your present, the one you’ve been ignoring without even realizing it.

However, continually thinking about your future is preventing you from enjoying the ‘now’. This ‘now’ includes everything that your life means and it’s the place where positivity and happiness live.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

-Prince Gautama Siddhartha-

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today

This is one of the best-known proverbs. No doubt you’ve followed its advice at some time or another. However, how long did it last? Probably just a day or two. That’s because all the rushing and stress and thinking ahead prevent you from looking at your present moment and seeing what you’ve achieved so far. They stop you from enjoying your achievements, forcing you to always look beyond yourself.

Man with hand on his face worried

The present only lasts a moment. A minute that’s already passed can be considered the past and the next minute you’re heading to is the future. Indeed, time is fleeting and hard to savor.

The funny thing is that you tend to give more importance to your past and your future than your present. The one that passes by so fast in front of your eyes that you don’t even realize it.

You’re used to looking where you’re going to tread, instead of where you are now.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about your past or your future. In fact, the past helps you learn and progress. On the other hand, the future can help you to achieve your goals, to motivate yourself, and dream of what you want. However, where’s the present in all of this?

Value your present, as well as your past and your future

Woman with arms raised enjoying the present moment

Evading the present is something you do unconsciously. That’s what you’ve been taught to do. In fact, you ignore it without even realizing it. However, not living in the present makes you idealize the future that you’re always thinking about. The future to which you’re heading, but which you see as something very distant.

You think of an idealized future almost like a dream that’ll never be real.

As we already mentioned, the future is that minute, that hour that’s yet to come. Thinking about the future as something distant and idealized is an escape route from a present with which you don’t feel satisfied.

Why do you think that what’s to come will always be better? Because all people think like that. However, does it work?  As a matter of fact, you should be careful when idealizing that future you dream about because it might be disappointing when it finally arrives. Then, you’ll feel surprised. You’ll ask yourself  “Is this it?” You’ll realize that your idea of your future was a disappointing dream that ultimately didn’t satisfy you at all.

Then, you’ll keep thinking about the next tomorrow and so on. In fact, you’re always trying to see further, when what you should be doing is looking at the steps you’re taking now, and how well you’re doing.

What tips should you keep in mind to focus on today and not tomorrow?

  • If you want to do something, do it now. Whether it’s taking a trip or changing jobs, do it and turn your life around. Don’t think that tomorrow will be a better time to do it than now. If you’re sure about something, don’t think about it, just do it!
  • Don’t think about what might happen, enjoy what you have now. What has to happen, will happen!
  • Be realistic in your present and don’t idealize an imaginary future. If you want a fulfilling future, you must make a fulfilling present.
  • Accept that you’re not in control of everything that happens to you. Indeed, many everyday events are out of your control and that’s okay. Therefore, identify those things that are out of your hands and those that are not. Once you recognize them, ask yourself: What’s the point of worrying about what I can’t control? Just be careful instead of continually worrying.
  • Meditate. One of the best tools for learning to live in the here and now is meditation. Therefore, you should make this activity a part of your regular routine.
Happy woman living in the now

In short, what all of this means is that is if you want something, make it come true now. Don’t think about what you could’ve done or plan to do it another day. The present is what counts, don’t allow your life to pass by before your eyes without any meaning.

Once you start living in the present moment, you’ll become more aware of the things that are important to you. Furthermore, you’ll be more compassionate with yourself, you’ll spend more quality time with those around you, and you’ll live with a sense of purpose.

Therefore, the secret for your life to acquire the meaning that you want to give it is to act now. Stop dreaming. Action is what counts, and the here and now is what you should be thinking about.

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