An anonymous quote I found states it well: “If you worry about what might be, wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”
As a longtime educator and coach, I have greatly benefited from past experiences and have also planned for future situations. But I have determined for me, as much as possible, it is best to live in the now.
What is the correct balance of the past, future, and present in your life journey?
In this post, I want to focus briefly on each of these three timelines and illustrate how the past and future can be beneficial and/or detrimental to you. However, I want to encourage you to focus on the present.
Remembering our past can be useful, but fixating on it too much can be damaging. It’s essential to learn from our past experiences or the experiences of others, but sometimes we can dwell on previous mistakes or regrets and that can hinder our progress. Learn from the past, but move on to the present.
Preparing for the future is also very important. Advance preparation and planning can help alleviate potential adverse situations and gives you an opportunity to utilize your past experiences to better prepare. However, daydreaming and always thinking about the future can take away from what you are doing right now. Personally, I sometimes struggle in my mind with the “what is next” mentality instead of enjoying or maximizing the current moment.
So how do you stay engaged in the present? I would like to share three practices that help me:
- Set a goal and focus on manageable time frames. For example, if you work a six to eight-hour day, break it down into smaller units like an hour,half an hour, or even fifteen minute intervals or shorter.
- Be flexible and react in a positive way to interruptions.
- Take mental and physical breaks as needed.
Make the most of your GIFT of today!