Living in the moment

Yo, Tony Robbins. I’ve got one for ya.

We’re told often to live in the moment. To be present, conscious, and aware of what’s happening around you with all your senses. To exist in the here and now, pure of what’s come before and the things that are still ahead. This, apparently, is how you can get the most out of life.

I think the phrase is bollocks, a cliche in the truest sense. What does it even mean — to exist in the here and now? We’re doing that simply by existing, aren’t we? And why can it be achieved only by dismissing the past and excluding the future, which are the two fundamental ingredients that make us who we are?

How you experience a moment is informed by both those things — the events of the past that have come to shape who you are, and your aspirations of a future self that influence the path ahead.

I think living in the moment is passive. Living in the moment doesn’t allow you to shape it and push it to a place you want to go.

When we’re told to live in the moment, we’re being told to cede control, to let go and let it take us where it will. It suggests that moments happen without any input from us, randomly, and only the universe knows why.

Yet think of the biggest, boldest things you’ve done. The experiences you’ve had that were unexpected, so “not you” at the time, but ended up changing you for the better, made you question things more intensely, think longer and harder, travel farther, love deeper, find freedom. Who enabled them? Who said “yes” to them? We, believe it or not, create the moment.

So we don’t need to live in the moment. It lives in us already.