We are very good at planning our lives, but not so good at living it.
We sacrifice years to get a degree, work hard to get a promotion at work, to buy a house, a car but we have problems to remind us that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment we truly live.
We do not realize that happiness is possible only in the present moment.
Why do I say this?
Because if we pay attention, most of our thoughts are directed mainly to the past or to the future, just preventing us from living fully in the present.
A typical example to understand what I am talking about is when we drive and especially when we do a repetitive journey like to work and back, which of course does not require a lot of concentration, since we do it everyday.
Has it ever happened to you, to have reached your destination and not really remember how you got there?
And why has that happened?
Because obviously, we were thinking of something, something existing in the past or in the future, because if we had been focused on the present, then this would not have happened.
But driving is just one of the many examples, if we pause for a moment, we will realize that there are many times that we do something with our body while with our mind we are thinking of something else, therefore we are not living in the present.
Living in the present means to be aware of what we are doing in the present moment, focus on every little thing that we are doing, it means that the mind and body are doing the same thing.
If we are calm and peaceful, it means we are living in the present.
The past is gone and can not be changed. Although we can not wait to finish our studies, going on vacation, change our jobs, we need to keep in mind that it all belong to the future and the future is yet to come.
It almost seems that, until we do not get what we want, we can not be happy, we are almost in a situation like in the case of a computer, in a situation of stand-by, waiting for something to happen.
If we can not live the present moment, we can not be in touch with life.
But how do we learn to live in the present?
It’s easier than we might imagine, it’s just a matter of creating a new habit, a good habit.
An easy way to live in the present moment is to concentrate on every little thing we do.
Starting out with small things, such as brushing our teeth, it’s extremely important that our mind is aware of what we are doing.
Mentally, talking to ourselves and saying what we are doing at the time, it helps to be aware of the action that is taking place and then it helps to live in the present and feel alive.
In this way, it is also easier to control our mind.
If, when we are brushing our teeth we are thinking about what to wear, most likely when we are getting dressed, we are thinking about what to buy at the supermarket and once at the supermarket, we will think that we can not wait to be relaxing on the couch and in doing so, our mind will never be aligned with our body.
It’s like two people on the same canoe that instead of rowing together at the same cadence, they are paddling each minding his own, of course, the result will be lower than the crew of a canoe where the two rowers paddle along at the same cadence.
It’s team work if our mind and our body work together, the results are certainly better, try to believe.
Not only that, but live the present also helps us to improve our concentration.
Concentration is a problem for many people, they can not stay focused for a long time, whether they are watching a movie, reading a book, listening to someone.
But why is this happening?
It’s because our mind is used to wandering around and no matter what we do it is always thinking of something different of what we are doing.
What can we do when our mind is wandering in the past or in the future, to bring it back to live in the present?
It’s very simple: with our breathing or with some meditation.
In my next post, I will talk about the importance of our breathing and some breathing techniques that can help us feel grounded, happy and alive.
“Living in the present moment” Quotes
“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Bil Keane
“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha
“Confine yourself to the present.” Marcus Aurelius