The Present

A very wise man told me something yesterday which changed my life forever, and I'm going to share it with you because I think everyone deserves to hear this:

Your body can physically only exist in the present. YOU can only exist in the present. Your mind can be somewhere in the past or the future, but all you physically have is now.

You might be thinking: "Yeah, duh, everyone knows that. People always talk about 'living in the moment,' and obviously you can only exist right now." But have you ever been somewhere where you were physically present and your mind was somewhere completely different? I'm sure you have. We all have. Think back to a class, a conversation, or any moment in time when you physically were standing in a place but you were daydreaming about something else. It was probably a moment when you were bored or you had so much on your mind that you forgot to pay attention. But what if you had been present? You wouldn't have missed what your friend was saying, or you wouldn't be behind in that class. You would have been there, both physically and mentally.

Think about it. Think about how productive your day would be if you stopped thinking about all of the things you had to do, but if you actually just focused your mind on one of those things. Today, I have to write a blog post, create a video, and send photos to a client; but for just this moment in time, I'm writing my blog post. I have so many other things going on, but right now, I'm not done writing this post, so I'm not going to think about anything but this exact moment that I'm living in. I'm just going to write. 

I have been living in the future. I'm guilty of it. All I had been thinking about was my next move and I forgot to live in the now. I wasn't productive because I so was caught up in my to-do lists, that I never actually did anything on the lists. I pushed them aside because I was so overwhelmed by my work load. I never thought about what I should be doing now, I would just think about all of the things that needed to get done, and nothing would get done. When I was in class, I thought about the projects I needed to complete. When I was talking to someone, I was thinking about when I could leave the conversation so I could go do the next thing. I wasn't present. I was anywhere but present, and believe it or not, I wasn't productive and I wasn't happy. I was always on the go, always onto the next one, and I wasn't really living. I was just existing.

I find this advice to be specifically useful when you're extremely stressed. It's easy to think about all of the things you need to do, and it's easy to complain about them. But stop yourself and just think: what am I doing right now and what could I be doing right now? Who cares about what you need to get done or what you have done or haven't done. What are you doing right now? And do it. Focus on it. Cherish it, and you will be productive and you will be happy. I guarantee it.

So thank you, to this very wise man, because you have changed the way I live my life. In one conversation, you have switched my gears in an entirely different direction. This second, I'm writing this letter and thinking this thought, and that's all that matters.