“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” Albert Camus
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Theresa
How often do we find ourselves lost in thought about what we think will happen, might happen, could happen? How much energy, effort, and time do we lose playing out various scenarios about how the future will turn out? Although there is certainly value in planning, we too often immerse ourselves completely and for far too long in the world of fiction known as The Future.
There are certainly times when we need to do our best to divine the future as best we can. For example, it can be very beneficial to start each day by considering the various responsibilities and obligations we have and running through a mental checklist of things necessary to meet those obligations successfully.
However, we frequently take those musings to extremes more often than we should. We get lost in playing out the myriad possible outcomes of our actions and the infinite number of ways conversations with others might go. At that point, our future-oriented attention transitions from helpful to counterproductive.
The present moment is the only moment that affords us reality as it truly is. Memories are reconstructed from the past, and the future is…at most…a best guess. Both the past and present are simply imaginations in our minds. The present moment is the only moment where we actually exist, the only moment in which we actually interact with the world around us.
Today, avoid the temptation to prepare to live instead of actually living. Intentionally tune your attention to the present moment and bask in the mental, physical, and emotional sensations that define your reality…in the here and now.