Chances are your mind is on something else as you read this sentence. All too often, we dwell on memories in the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. Instead, why not live in the moment.
When it comes to distinguishing personality types, I’d like to think I’m a Type A. I often have a hard time relaxing until everything in my life is in order and planned out. For me, college has only made my type A traits worse. I constantly feel that everyday I must plan out exactly what I’m doing for the next hour, week and month in advance. With responsibilities like meetings and deadlines, I guess you could say spur-of-the-moment decisions aren’t really my thing.
My desire to plan has made me successful in my work; it causes me to accomplish tasks whole-heartedly and to be ambitious, which all sound like pretty positive things. And they are, but it also makes me anxious, worried and unable to focus on where I’m at in life right now.
There is nothing wrong with planning; in fact, it’s necessary in college. Without having a plan, it’s easy to forget about important due dates, deadlines and club meetings, all of which are important to leading a promising future. But what is the future, exactly? It is defined as “the time regarded as still to come.” “Still to come” hasn’t happened yet- so why do we waste our entire days thinking about it? By planning for the future so far ahead, we limit ourselves from seeing the beauty of the moment.
Living in the moment is more than just a saying in front of an artsy background to post on your Tumblr; it’s a state of attention on the present. Normally, we spend our time focusing on what might have been, what could have been, or if onlys.
But here’s what you need to do to change that: spend less time fearing what’s to come or being nostalgic about the good old days, and enjoy right now. Dance like nobody’s watching, meditate, get more involved in a hobby, or make a list of everything in your life that you’re thankful for right now. The present may seem worse than it actually is, but it is real- and that’s what makes it beautiful.
Photo by Sabine Clermont