If you’re anything like me, you like to have something to look forward to. I am always making sure that there is something coming up that I am excited to do or someplace to go that I can’t wait to visit. It’s motivational to feel the pull of something I anticipate, aspire to or dream of. The thing is, that sometimes I tend to focus so much on how good it is going to be when the future event happens or when I get to wherever it is that I want to go, that I find myself wishing it was happening right now. And the problem that then results is that I forget that I am living right now and that this moment is really important too. I almost wish away the time and waste the precious here and now. Never forget that your life is now!
It is great to have big plans for the future. But it is also very important to be present, enjoying the beauty of this, the only moment that exists. Placing more importance on future events, or waiting for them to happen in order to be happy, means that you are putting your life on hold. By not paying attention to the opportunities in the present to be joyful, you are wasting the now. Every moment that passes that you do not live fully, enjoying being present, is an opportunity lost. It is a piece of your life that is gone forever.
Many people want to reap the rewards of the hard work that they are doing so they spend their time slogging away, counting the hours and days until they can be happy with the outcome of their work. Think of all the people who are counting the years until they can retire and finally live the life they want. How happy are they in the present, working in jobs they see as a means to, as well as the obstacle in the way of, their happiness? They are wishing away and wasting an enormous portion of their lives, even though they have no idea what the future will hold. It is so critical to realize that your life is now!
I am not saying to take your focus off the goals you have for the future. What I am suggesting is that you find a way to celebrate and fully take in the steps that lead you there. For example, I love travelling but hate packing. I will procrastinate for hours on the day before a trip to avoid packing. Yet packing is a critical part of the thing that I love to do, just the same way that work and preparation are part of setting up a great life. When I see the packing as an integral part of having a fabulous adventure and I am completely in the now with the work involved to get ready, I can love the process. In the same way, I can truly enjoy hard and repetitive work that is involved in setting up a very successful project that will enhance the greatness of my life.
While my focus continues to be on the excitement and joy I will feel when I complete the project and reap the rewards, I continually remind myself that my life is now and I can enjoy each of the steps along the way. This mantra keeps me in the present and supports inner gratitude for the power I have to create a great life. The joy that this brings me allows me to celebrate each moment as a stackable building block in my extraordinary life.
Take me up in this challenge and decide to joyfully engage in the mundane as a means to claiming an exceptional life. Tell yourself each day, “My life is now,” and find happiness and fulfillment in the routine activities that most people do begrudgingly. You will be amazed in the change of your state of being and see clearly that every day can be a joy, even when you have years to go until the rewards come.
Copyright Dr. Paul Newton 2013