Moments pass and are soon forgotten, so what’s the point of them if you’re not going to live in the moment? What it means is being focused on the present and being there, completely in the moment. What’s happening now is all there really is. Forget about yesterday and tomorrow. Be present in the now.
It requires awareness to master this. Your mind will not wander when you’re fully present and practicing awareness. It means being focused on what is happening right now and forgetting about the past and the future. Thinking about the past is memory, and thinking about the future is fantasy, so you cannot fully experience the moment except when you’re living it.
Once you stop resisting and become present, you will feel a timeless level of love, contentment, and peace. By staying present in each and every moment, you will start living your life without waiting for the future or holding on to the past. Be grounded and assimilate the experiences. Practice this when you eat. Try to fully enjoy your food. Your life becomes fuller in experience and richer in meaning, the more you practice being present.
Monkey Minds is a Buddhist term for the mind that jumps from one activity to another and from one thought to another without stopping to enjoy the results of its work. Why would you work hard to achieve a goal if you won’t stop to enjoy the result of it? Why would you go on a journey just to get to your destination? Isn’t the point in enjoying the journey itself? Stop putting your happiness on hold and learn to be present in the moment. Here’s how:
1. The past is behind you, let it go
Life is occurring right here and right now, so don’t dwell on the past, full of regrets and quilt. You don’t need to carry that baggage with you, and you’ll feel a lot lighter once you get rid of it. Learn from the past and implement what you’ve learned from it cause that’s the whole purpose of the past. Once you’ve done that, let it go.
If you bring the judgment of the past with you into the present, it will impact your ability to process what’s going on now and here. The past is already behind you, and there’s no need for you to be looking back. You don’t need it anymore. Don’t allow it to control your decision making and thinking in the present.
The thing about the past is that it’s gone. As for the future, it hasn’t yet arrived. All you really have is the present, and only in the present can you make a difference. Make it right now.
2. The future doesn’t exist yet, don’t live in it
Every one of us looks forward to building a brighter future for us and our loved ones, and it’s encouraged. However, the future is yet to come, it still doesn’t exist, so you can’t live in it. Visualize the future you’re going to create but focus on the things that you can do today. You can be focused on the present and still plan for the future. All you need to do is ask yourself two simple questions – What is my end goal? What can I do today to get closer to it?
As soon as you know what you can do now, focus on that instead of on the end goal. Take daily actions to achieve your goal. It’s much like building a bridge. You know where you’re trying to go and why but you can’t really do it until you build that bridge. It’s great that you’re imagining a bright future, but you need to work towards it by being in the present.
3. Identify what needs to be done and take action
Things sometimes go wrong, and there’s no foolproof plan, but if you keep moping about it, you’ll live in the past. You need to figure out what went wrong, get help from others if you need to. It’s the only way for you to make a new, better plan. When you figure that out, you start living in the present again.
People who don’t live in the present spend a lot of time thinking about things while those who live in the present figure out what should be done and do things. They are taking action because only by taking action can you achieve to have a life that you want. It isn’t possible to take action at any other time but in the present moment.
3. Find an alternative perspective to take
Make the best out of every situation. Of course, you could get angry about missing the bus, but how about checking out the store near the bus station? You could get disappointed because of not getting a job, or you could be glad that you had the opportunity to work on your interview skills. It’s all in the way you look at it. Realize what went wrong, but don’t dwell on it. Always try to find a positive side to every situation, and you’ll live in the present - the only place where you can actually make a difference.