Today is the most important day of your life
Where is your mind right now? We would like to think that we’re present, at this moment, but are we really? Human brains over thousands of years have developed unique part of the brain called the frontal lobe. The Frontal lobe is responsible for thinking about the future and predicting what will happen next.
Frontal lobe saved us in a lot of situations and could be one of the reasons why we are so developed civilization. Although in everyday life, it also can be a big obstacle for us. Because of all the wondering about the future we actually forget that the only moment that matters is this one.
We think about tomorrow so often because tomorrow is a place where all the good things happen. We feel better about ourselves just by thinking about the things that we could do. For example, every evening, you think that tomorrow will be the day. You will start doing something you want to do, or quit something you have been wanting to quit. At that moment, you really mean it, but when the next day comes nothing changes.
The fact is, that in reality there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is an imaginary place. All you have is this day, this moment. And actions you make right now, will determine what will happen to you in the moments to come. Most of the things you leave for tomorrow, always stay there. You need to remove the thought of tomorrow from your mind, it will be the best thing you would ever do to yourself. There is nothing wrong with planning for the future, but only so you can know what actions to take right now.
We know what could be good for us, we know what we should do. We keep saying to ourselves that we will do it someday, but that someday actually never comes. If you want to make changes in your everyday life, you should start today. Every single day of your life will be called today not tomorrow.
We make resolutions. We wait for the beginning of a new phase, like new year, a new month or new week to start to change something in our lives. Why? There won’t be a better moment to do something than today because even if you wait for some magical day, when that day will actually come, you will still feel exactly the same as today. Also because of thinking that it will be better to start at some point in the future, we are more likely to quit it soon after we started something. It’s because we realize that waiting for the magical day didn’t make the actual process of doing any easier. That is why the percentage of people who fail on their resolution is so high.
If you want to be happy today, don’t wait until tomorrow
People are making a similar mistake by thinking that achieving some goal will make them happy, even if the process for achieving it is just unbearable. If the process doesn’t make you happy there is very little chance that you will find happiness at the end of it, and even if you will, it won’t last long. Also, if you don’t enjoy the process, it is very unlikely that you will achieve your goal at all.
That is why you should fill your day with activities that you enjoy doing, whatever the goal is. For example my three activities are reading, writing and coding. I enjoy reading because it expands my perspective of the world after every book I finish. I enjoy writing because it’s interesting to me how my brain can generate information just by sitting in my chair and focusing on a subject. Writing code is fulfilling because I can create something from nothing, and it feels even better when people find a use for the things you create.
If you want to live a happy life, you need to stop thinking about goals. Learn to love the process, moments and events. Don’t wait for end results. For example, if you want to be a writer it’s a mistake. You actually should want to write, not to be an end result. You need to like the actual process. If you can’t force yourself to sit down and write for a couple of hours every day but you keep dreaming about having written a book, that goal will never be achieved. Even if you force yourself through the process and get your book finished, you will get your 15 minutes of fame, and after that you will feel miserable again to sit down and write again.
On the other side, if you enjoy the peace you get from writing and opportunity to let your creativity fly away you during the process, you will love your every day, and the fact that might get the glory and fame after you’ve finished one of your works will be just bonus.
It’s the same for every field of life, if you won’t enjoy the process every day, you can’t hope for a happy life.
There is a way
Remember that now is the only time when you can do something. It’s common among people not to start something just because most of the day is already over. We do so because we live our lives in time intervals. When we’ve wasted a greater part of a single interval, for example, a day, we usually just give up and we promise to ourselves that we will do better the next day.
If we acknowledge this fact then we could try to work around it. We need to decrease the interval we evaluate ourselves in. A good way to do so is to split your day into 30 minute increments. This way, you can try to waste as few of these increments as you can. Thinking about whole day seems overwhelming, but if all you do is try to get most out of next 30 minutes, at the end of the day you will make a huge progress. Also even if you haven’t managed to use an ongoing increment, you won’t waste as much time as you would if you’d just postpone to next day or month, or even a year.
So stop thinking it could be a good life for you, and begin make it great, just 30 minutes at a time. Think process, live in the moment and forget about goals making you happy, they won’t.
Originally published at ziggycrane.com on April 6, 2015.