The Importance of Living in the Moment

You’re running late for work; you have a big meeting with a major client later in the week; you have to go grocery shopping on the way home. Yesterday, you had a fight with your spouse or your boss yelled at you or you bombed a major project.

You’re so preoccupied with what went wrong and what’s about to come that you barely realize you forgot to kiss goodbye and pretty much ignored what your kid was telling you over breakfast. Or maybe you forgot to tell your mom you love her or ignored your best friend’s text because who has the time to hang out, right?

You didn’t listen to the signals your body gave you, begging you for a break, for some kind of reprieve, and before you know it, you’re tired, sick, alone and full of regrets.

That is the dilemma of modern life. You think and you worry and obsess so much over the past and the future that you forget about the present.

Focusing on the present, living in the now

We’re so caught up in reaching goals and ideals, living life in a state of flux. Everything you do is part of some grand scheme, a larger aim that you’re hoping to achieve. Becoming a CEO by 40, a millionaire by 35, being married by 28—whatever arbitrary standard or age you’re hoping to achieve certain milestones by, there is no guarantee things will go as planned.

Illness, death, heartbreak, financial crisis or other life changes are all some of those unexpected obstacles that can take place and throw you off the rails. They sneak up on you, or sometimes they’re the result of lifelong negligence and carelessness.

It’s more important than ever to focus on the present and be mindful of your current reality and state.Why, you wonder?

The past is gone

Remember this obvious but incredibly powerful phrase.

The past truly is the past, and anything that happened in it is gone as well. Any failed relationship, any business disaster, any financial loss, any challenge that you powered through—it’s all done and dusted.

Healing isn’t linear, and you can’t put a timeline on feeling better or will all your problems away, it’s true. What you can do is reflect on what happened, why it bothers you and search for a path to a happier, more wholesome you.

The future is far

By future, we don’t mean tomorrow; that’s still pretty close. When we talk about the future as some distant place, we’re talking about things that have you up at night, even though they’re not within your immediate reach. Things you worry about 5, maybe 10 years before they’ll even happen; those are the things that can make you go crazy.

While you think about what lies ahead, you overlook what you’ve already accomplished. Every promotion, every award, every success, every moment of personal satisfaction is ignored in the pursuit of an eventual, far-off aspiration.

Sometimes, these goals aren’t even yours; you’re holding on to someone else’s dream. Whether you were expected to fulfill that dream, or you expect someone else to carry it out, you’re still neglecting the present.

Nothing is certain

You’ve probably heard this saying hundreds of times over your life. Nothing is certain, everything happened so unexpectedly, etc. You think, hey, that’s rough, but I have everything planned out.

Then your loan application gets rejected; your partner decides they don’t want to be with you; your parent falls ill; your product doesn’t sell; your dog dies; your landlord wants to sell his apartment building.

None of these you can expect or predict with surety. They’re all things you never see coming, and perhaps that’s why you’re left feeling a void.

By practicing awareness ofthe now, you’re better able to move on from bumps and process trauma and grief that come your way. You’re more attuned to your surroundings.

You’re missing out on important moments

Time doesn’t turn for anyone. While slumping over the past and fixating on the future, so many moments will pass you by without you realizing it. You won’t notice when your daughter is suddenly eighteen and off to college or that your son learned to walk. You miss your spouse’s big promotion celebration because you were at a meeting.

You’re working hard, it’s undeniable, but when the people closest to you can’t enjoy you, can’t be privy to your time and you’re not there to witness important moments, what’s the point?

Your health is at risk

If none of the sappy stuff moves you, remember that stress and anxiety have very real effects on your health too. Your body and mind are aging, and all those long nights, the shooting blood pressure, the muscle aches, the missed meals, do catch up with you.

Slow down; reflect; meditate; practice mindfulness; appreciate your loved ones. These are the secrets to a happier, more fulfilling life. Your career is important, but not at the cost of your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

About the Author

Hall of Fame Speaker Steve Rizzo is one of the leading comedic motivational speakers in the world. He has traveled across the world speaking at hundreds of events and venues, changing the lives of countless thousands of people! Reach out to him here.