It is very common for people to spend more time thinking or worrying about what is going to happen, or what has already happened than we do being in present moment. Of course, planning for the future, setting goals for ourselves, visualizing, and learning from past mistakes are quite different and can be very useful. What I am referring to is the time we spend worrying, regretting, and obsessing over events that have already happened, or have not even occurred. At times, I have found myself obsessing over something I wish I would have done differently, or building anxiety over something that I worry may come later. Why do we do this to ourselves? This is a colossal waste of time and energy, and is actually very counterproductive to creating the happiness we so desire! I have been doing some thinking about this and have come up with a few things to remember to help us stay in the present moment, regain our sanity and stay focused on what is real!
The past is over. We cannot go back and change anything that has happened. We can certainly learn from our experiences and make better choices in the future because of them, but we absolutely cannot go back in time. When we dwell on the past, we are only creating misery for ourselves, and we are keeping ourselves from moving forward, which is the only way we can move! The only thing that is real is this moment. The past has already happened, and obsessing about the past is the equivalent of suffering with anxiety over what happened in a movie, or a story we once read. Take the lessons from your past experiences and move on with confidence that everything that has contributed to your evolution!
The future has not happened yet. Making a positive plan for the future is an admirable thing, but how often do we fixate and worry about the “what ifs” and “I don’t wants” that our ego minds feed us? I have never heard of any happy successful person who said they built their success or happiness on worrying and agonizing over events that are still in their imagination. Have you? Worrying is counterproductive, and it keeps you in a state of fear! Great accomplishments were never built on the fear of what may happen.
The only reality is NOW. The only moment we have any power is NOW. What is real? This moment right now…that is what’s real! Focus on what you can do NOW, what is happening NOW, and enjoy some peace NOW.
If we let our minds do it to us, we can create so much misery for ourselves. Staying in the present moment sometimes takes gentle reminders, but we need to treat ourselves with kindness. Remind yourself what is real and take control of were your mind wants to go. You would not get on a runaway train willingly would you?