Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Living in the Present – Good Advice or an Excuse for Mediocrity?

By Julie Marie Rahm

Have you noticed that it has become trendy to talk of living in the present as if you have no past or future? Have you found it to be good advice? I understand that it is important to focus on what you are doing at the time otherwise you could make a mistake, have an accident, or harm a relationship. But you have a past and a high probability of a future. To act otherwise is to live a lie. Never considering the past sounds like an excuse for not resolving the cumulative effects of negative life experiences and not growing into the best person you can be. Never thinking of the future sounds like an excuse for stagnating and being unprepared for opportunities.

Of course, you do not want to dwell on the past - times when you felt wronged or had regrets - because you get more of what you think about. To live happily, you do need to rid yourself of the effects of your past. When you reflect on a bad memory and your metaphorical level starts to tilt, simply use your metaphorical flashlight to shine light on the part of the memory that troubles you. When you identify what troubles you, your metaphorical utility knife cuts the ties to the cumulative effects the memory has on you. If the memory still troubles you, then you have not identified the real reason for your feelings about it. Go back and use your flashlight and utility knife again. Then use your metaphorical hammer to hammer in the framework for better feeling thoughts. Freeing yourself from bondage of the past frees your mind to work on what you want and where you want to go with your life. Otherwise you remain a prisoner to your memories, stuck where you are.

Conversely, you also do not want to daydream about the future all day and not take care of the matters at hand. However, some thought to where you want to be at some time in the future is valuable, because those thoughts are seeds that will take root and sprout at some future time. The better you get at using your metaphorical screwdriver, the faster those thought seeds will manifest in the results you desire. With your screwdriver you connect your intentions to your actions and your actions to results. When you have a choice to make, how do you know what to choose if you do not have a result in mind? If you think only of the present moment any choice will do, because you are not considering the consequences.

So let go of using the present as an excuse for being the way you are and where you are. What does it really mean to live in the present? Focus on what you are doing at the time. Acknowledge your tears and joys past and your fears and dreams of the future. And keep your metaphorical tools handy so you can fearlessly and successfully navigate the past-present-future time continuum of your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top curve