Sunday, September 26

Make Something Of The Moment

An article today by L.Stoddart which I first published way back in my ex-magazine Wealthy Times. It's about time and the importance of starting today to achieve our happiness. It's perhaps a bit off subject from the normal post but, erm, it is Sunday!

All you have is now. The measure of our peace of mind and the measure of our personal effectiveness are determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.

Regardless of what happened yesterday, and what happened today, now is where you are. From this point of view, the key to happiness and contentment must be focusing on the present moment.

One of the beautiful things about children is that they absorb themselves totally in the present moment. They manage to stay involved in whatever they are doing, whether that be watching a beetle, drawing a picture, building a sandcastle or whatever they choose to devote their energies to.

As we become adults, many of us learn the art of worrying about several things at once. We can allow past problems and future concerns to crowd into our present so that we become miserable and ineffective.

We also learn to postpone our pleasures and our happiness, often developing a notion that sometime in the future everything will be much better than it is now.

The High School student thinks, "When I'm out of school and don't have to do what I'm told, everything will be great!" He leaves school and recognises that he won't be happy until he has left home.

He leaves home and starts University and soon decides, "When I have got my degree, then I'll be really happy!" Eventually he gets his degree at which time he realises he can't be happy until he has a job.

He gets a job and has to start at the bottom of the heap. You guessed it, he can't be happy yet.

As the years roll by he postpones his happiness and peace of mind until he gets engaged, gets married, starts buying a home, gets a better job, starts a family, gets the kids in school, owns his home, gets the kids out of school, retires ... and he drops dead before he allows himself to be blissfully happy. All his present moments were spent planning for a wonderful future which never arrived.

Living in the now is about expanding our awareness to make the current moment more delicious, rather than shutting off. Each of us has the choice, moment to moment, as to whether we really live and absorb and allow ourselves to be touched and affected.

Whenever we are living in the present moment, we drive fear away from our mind. Essentially fear is the concern over events which might not happen sometime in the future. This concern is paralysing to the point where we find it almost impossible to do anything constructive.

However, you are only open to intense fear when you are being inactive. The minute you start to take action and actually do something fear subsides. Living in the now is about taking action without fear of the consequences. It is about putting in our effort for the sake of the involvement, without worry as to whether we will get our just rewards.

Time doesn't really exist, except as an abstract concept in your head. The present moment is the only time you have. Make something of the moment!

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  1. Well said, Mike. I think I'll print this out and post it on my fridge and above my computer!

  2. agree with trish and rob. how true this is and how often I keep putting things off until the right time.