The greatest enemy to living in the moment and making things work for you is the perception of the past and the future, combined with assumptions that form in our mind as factual reality, but never actually occur.
So many of us are bogged down by the bad things that have happened to us, and our mind set is that we remain a victim to those things that happened. You are only a victim as long as you allow yourself to be, or even worse, as long as you make yourself one. There are people who revel in being a victim, because that’s all they’ve ever known, they are comfortable in their habits, and they have committed their lives to staying there as long as they live.
Don’t be one of those people. Don’t be stuck milling over a painful world that you went through, and therefore have no future.
And the other great enemy of your happiness is what can happen in the future but never does. Some people live their lives dreaming of what might be, that never comes. There are people who are living for the day they win that lottery, and every night they sit in front of the TV with great anticipation hoping that their numbers will come in, while their bills continue to stack up. There is nothing wrong with playing the lottery, but meanwhile, getting a job that will pay your bills is far more pragmatic.
Living must be an active process, and if you don’t keep up with it, it will take you over. Living is growing, changing, circulating your vitals and finding new worlds while you change the old ones. Living is actively getting off your butt and into the mess, learning, moving, becoming a force in yourself instead of being taken over by it. Sit in that miserable job for years and accept that comfortable paycheck and one day you realize that life has passed you by. Stay in that miserable marriage without doing something about it and one day you realize that life is passing you by. Time waits for no man, and as time goes by, you suddenly see that you have wasted what could have been active choices and abundant living. You are only given your life once, and that’s why today is called “the present.” Take your present, unwrap it, and enjoy it.
There is only one way to overcome the inheritance of a bad past or the hopeless end of a future that never comes, and that is to live in the “Now”, to enjoy the present in all its glory. In fact, it is only by living in the present that you have any power to make your life and the lives of those around you better. If you live in the past, you live in a world that no longer exists, except that you are giving the past power that it never had over you to suddenly be alive again by reliving it, making you and everyone around you miserable again with whatever it was that happened that makes you so unhappy.
And if you live in the future, you definitely live in a world that doesn’t exist, and who knows what is going to happen then, although you can be pretty certain that it will not be what you think.
Living in the present gives you power to do something about your life and the lives of others around you. You can activate choice, and you can do it immediately. You can chose to motivate yourself, to move out into that cruel world and make it better. If you need to get a better job, now is the time. If you need to love your kids, now is the time. If you need to get a better understanding of God, now is the time. If you need to make amends with some of your friends, now is the time. If you need to enjoy their company, now is the time. If that car needs fixing, now is the time. If you need a better place to live, now is the time. If you need to get out of that unhappy relationship, now is the time. You are not going to live forever. In fact, the only thing you know for sure is that you are living right now. So start living!
What are you waiting for? To win the lottery? Are you waiting for your children to grow up and get out of the house? Are you waiting for more money to fall from the sky, or for the moment when you will finally leave some poor memories behind, or for Prince Charming to come along on his horse and scoop you up and take you to his castle? Well, it’s not going to happen until you make it happen.
So make it happen!
Stop whatever it is you’re doing for a moment and listen to the wind against the trees. See how they sway, how they enjoy the breeze, how they take in every moment without worry and enjoy their existence. Look at the clouds and see their glory: They revel in their existence. Listen to the people around you that are within earshot: Those are the people you need to interact with right now, those are the people who may need your help or vice versa! Help them. Stop thinking about how you were such a victim in the past. Get into the present and grab your time. Don’t worry about what problems you might face in the future. Instead, take the Power of Now and influence that future to be in your favor by the choices you make today, right now.
The greatest power of the present is its ability to influence the future by the choices you make today. Like Nike’s famous slogan Just Do It! Decide what you want to do, what you need to do, and do it, NOW!