Can you really live in the moment?
In the last few years there has been an impressive amount of information and advice given regarding this notion of living in the moment. While almost everybody tends to push you towards it, recent voices have arose to temper this movement. And that is for your own good, they say.
About a month ago I read an article on this topic, the author of which had a different approach on this matter than most of the people do. What he suggested was living for tomorrow, which means taking decisions that will make you happy in a few years down the road, not today, not in this precise moment.
The arguments he brought to the table were pretty valid, except that they weren’t exactly about the subject. What he understood, and what many people do, about living in the moment, is that you should leave your job right this instant, if you feel like it, or leave your family, or have a dramatic change of hair color (this isn’t actually that bad, you can fix it really easy).
So, instead of just giving in into the spur of the moment, you should consider asking yourself how will you feel about it in ten years, for example. What further experiences and turn of events will your today’s actions trigger?
And that’s wonderful. You should definitely do that. Not for every little decision you make, but for some of them for sure.
Today I spent an entire hour with my mom, just looking up at the snow falling down from the roof. An hour of laughing at each other, for doing that, an hour of giggling, because we were so happy, an hour of going back to the trying to guess which piece of snow will come down first, or sharing to each other what do they remind us of (I saw a snake, a rat’s head, a bird’s head and a wolf). We were lucky since the weather was great and the sky was clean and so blue that you felt like reaching out to touch it.
During this hour, I had no worries (we had a late lunch today, but who cares?), no deadlines to work on, no broken heart, just having fun with my mom and developing my patience.
What I felt was being at peace, with myself and with the world.
So, to get back to the topic, can you really live in the moment?
Well, there isn’t really any other moment to live in than the one you are experiencing right now. It’s you who decides what to do with it. If you choose to smile and to hug the person next to you, I salute that! If you choose to work on a project that makes you happy, great for you! If you choose to make money, because that’s what you need or want right now — wise choice! If you choose to yell and to be angry at someone — try to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. If you choose to leave your job — check it with yourself first. If you choose to turn your back on someone — I guess you have your reasons for doing that.
These are all ways to live in the moment, the moment you realize and take responsibility for what you are doing. There is no other secret to it. Just as I’m writing this article, I am doing this. I’m loving every letter I type on my keyboard, every space and every thought I put into it. I’m all in, and I think this is what it really means to live in the moment — to just be present, in every way you can.
As for the ones who chose to live for tomorrow, if it works for you, that’s wonderful, just be sure you got the definitions right.