Living in the Present!!

The title is something I think of almost all the time. A serious problem I grapple with day in day out. Most of the time, I tend to either live in the past or in the future. As and when I drift away in my thoughts, this question strikes me time and again. Why am I not able to live in the present, live in the moment and enjoy every moment to the ‘T’?

One of my favorite teachers quoted – Past is past, forget the past. Future is uncertain, why worry about it. Live in the present, ‘that’ is happiness. The profundity of the statement never hit me, till couple of years back.

The reason might be this – Probably I never realised that I either lived in the past or in the future. I thought I was living in the present, but on further evaluation never was. Slowly but surely, the depth of the statement dawned on me. I try desperately to remain in the present at various instances – and I enjoy it. It is such an elevating feeling living in the present, yet I fall back in my normal mode – either live in the past or the future.

Consider this. Right now, as I am writing the blog, I am thinking of what to do next weekend. I am also thinking of what would I do once I go back to India on a short trip. I would also want to buy a house within the next six months – how much would the EMI be? Will my savings be enough? What are my future career prospects? Will some course help me move on the corporate ladder faster? How will my life-partner be? Is there any way of getting an oppurtunity to appear on KBC (or even flashier – how about Koffee with Karan?? :))? Should I buy the ticket for watching India vs England which would take place some time in July?

The other side – Ah! Childhood was great, we were so carefree, we did everything. Till school life was excellent. Engineering was mind-blowing, what with four years of enjoyment interspersed with a few exams. MBA, maaannnn..was that fun? Absolute, Non-stop fun. Quizzing sessions – lovely thursday and friday evenings. Or, had I prepared harder for CAT/GMAT/IIT etc etc, I would have been in a different league now. Did I take the right decision in academics/career/love/job/friends? We used to have so much fun back then, in the canteen, IEEE bus, events in college etc etc.

Think about your own life. How many times/instances in a particular day have you actually lived in the present? I bet, you can count on your fingers. And how many times/instances have you lived in the past/future on any given day – Infinite. While we all know that living in the present is so blissful, yet we let our mind wander. We are always thinking ahead of time or behind time, never on time. This facet probably cuts across all cultures and countries.

Each one has his own way out of this quagmire. I have mine – I try to remind myself at very frequent intervals to live in the present, to enjoy the moment; that way atleast I am out of the loop of past&future for a few moments. Each one to his own, but never forget to live in the present. Live it once and you will know.

P.S –

1) So what do we do? Past is ok, but should I not think of the future? Of course you should. But not all the time. How about sitting for a few moments to think only about the future and nothing else? Isn’t that equivalent to living in the present?

2) I also hate people justifying their past – especially, when things have gone wrong. ‘You know, it had to happen that way, because I had to be here’ ; ‘Good that I left him/her, otherwise, god knows what would have happened’ ; To me, it indicates only one thing – unfulfilled commitments/effort at that particular moment in their past and justification as a means to trudge along with their lives. We may take comfort by justifying the past so ridiculously, may look/sound good to others – but to yourself, you are the only judge. Accept it and move on, you would be fine. You have lived your past, thinking about the future. Don’t commit the same mistake again. Because as I said earlier, the present is too precious to let go.

3) This blog was long overdue, the idea dated by now. However, yesterday when we were driving at 100 mph on an express way with the drizzle, beautiful greenery on either side and soulful music on the stereo, I let my mind wander. 1 hour drive and the time I lived in the present – probably around 10 minutes. That is, 50 minutes of pure happiness lost. That is when, this post came high on the radar of my thoughts :).

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