Living in the now is a powerful tool for living your best life. It has been said that we are human beings, not human ‘doings’, and yet we constantly strive after ‘success’. This drive can distract and stress us, and keep us so focused on our daily grind to achieve “success” that we have little time to relax, or improve ourselves in ways we would like. It can also make us feel like we have no time for ourselves, maybe worrying our world will fall apart.
Let Go of the Past
Old habits die hard: we may be acting as our parents wanted us to act, or in total opposition to that. Yet, as an adult, we need to find our own way of living, not live as someone else thinks we should. We may be bearing a grudge from long ago or feel hurt by something that happened to us many years ago. These things keep us stuck in the past and unable to find the power of now. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for giving up the past, so we can enjoy the now.
Avoid Living In The Future
What we do now will determine our future. Dreaming of what it will be like when we get “there” or chasing our dreams means we miss out on the here and now.
Live In The Present
The grass is NOT always greener on the other side, even if it looks that way from your present position, as Petunia the Goose found when she left the safety of “now” in the farm meadow for the future of sweet grass on the wild hill in the distance.
The hill grass turned out to be dry and tasteless and there were wild animals who wanted to eat her. Sometimes, leaving for greener pastures is the best option but very often, it is a pipe dream that keeps us dreaming and avoiding living in the “now”. One of the best ways to avoid this is to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” for what you have and focus on the positive side to your life.
What is a Positive Attitude?
It means being content and self-assured about who you are and what you want from life. And if you are this, you will also have a strong self-image. Being positive defines how you approach life and your expectations of what you will be and what you will achieve. Very often this can be reflected in your job, your sporting efforts and your business and personal relationships. Others are drawn to positive people, because they have the ability to lift our spirits and make us feel good about ourselves and our lives.
Someone with a positive attitude will have a buoyant outlook on life, they believe in themselves, their capabilities and talents and this opens them to seeing opportunities that come their way. They float over troubles, or like a rubber ball, bounce back again if they fall, as difficulties will not seem as significant and they have the ability to cope with them effortlessly. They are happier, healthier and more energetic.
Attitude, whether positive or negative, is infectious so choose to spend your time with positive uplifting people. When you choose to live your life with a positive attitude you will reach those lucky crossroads more often, the ones where opportunity and preparation meet.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Are You Afraid To Try?
It’s safe to stay in your comfort zone. You may not get the income you need, you may not have the job you want, you may not have done the items on your bucket list but hey, you’re safe. You’ve got your comfort blanket with you, your thumb in your mouth, your head under the covers and maybe headphones over your ears to shut out those siren voices urging you to try
Trying something new is a risk, sure but if you don’t try, you won’t know, – you won’t get the benefits. Now, hey, I’m not telling you to try every risky thing out there, no way.
Risks and Risky
There’s a big difference between risks and risky. Some risks involve growing as a person, something that’s just “risky” can cost you your life or your liberty.
The kinds of risks that you avoid by staying in your comfort zone are those where you might meet someone you would enjoy having as a friend or partner, where you might avoid improving your education because “I can’t do that” or “it’s too much work” or where you avoid taking up a new sport or leisure pursuit because “I’ll look dumb”. If you want to try something new, then go ahead, assess the risks to yourself and then ask, “What is the worst that could happen?” If it just involves egg on your face, then go ahead, it wipes off. If it involves physical danger to yourself or putting your family at financial risk then think long and hard about it and take advice. But don’t ignore that still, small voice that says, “this might work and I’ll try it”.
Don’t Overthink It
If you want to begin something, just do it. Sometimes it means a fresh start, sometimes it’s starting out on something new. Sometimes, it’s taking the plunge with something difficult or brand new and you need to overcome the fear, stepping outside your comfort zone.
There was a child who liked the water and went to the swimming pool every day on her holidays. She couldn’t swim but she knew how to stay afloat and get to the side of the pool.
One day, she decided to jump off the diving board. It was springy and great fun. So she decided to try the higher diving boards. She found that jumping off these could hurt if you didn’t go in straight!
In the meantime, the swimming pool staff had informed her relatives that she was moving about in the deep end (you couldn’t call it swimming) so she was taught to swim and then to dive. Diving started on the side of the pool and progressed to the first diving board. Once proficient at that, she was asked to try the higher board. She had jumped from that one previously before she learnt to swim and was now wary, even though she knew how to dive and to swim.
She stood on the edge of that diving board trying to gather her courage to begin the swoop, head first into the water ten feet below. It was cold in a wet swimming costume and she shivered in the breeze. She was about to turn and climb back down again when she glanced over the edge of the swimming pool wall to the street outside to see a family waiting at a bus stop watching her.
At that point, pride took over. No one was gong to see her fail and she just did it. No thinking, no preparation, no worrying. The practice took over and she entered the water with no painful thump, just cut it cleanly.
Sometimes you just do it. To begin, begin.
What An Opportunity!
Yes, our lives may seem difficult, yet every difficulty, every “impossibility” is an opportunity that can be handled brilliantly.
One person who faced what seemed like impossible odds was born to drug addicted parents, who eventually died of AIDS, was hungry most of the time and did not attend school very often: when she did she was ostracized because she was dirty and wore torn clothes. It is hard to imagine a much harder childhood. She was living on the streets at 15 years of age, yet rose above it to attend Harvard on a full scholarship and has since become a motivational speaker. You can read Liz Murray’s story (Title: Breaking Night) or view it.
Many other situations have also seemed impossible. Many people still alive never thought that human beings would walk on the moon in their lifetime. Orville and Wright had to overcome a great deal of scepticism to bring their vision of a flying machine into being. Nowadays we take aeroplanes for granted. Even motor cars have only been around for about 120 years and were originally termed “horseless carriages”, with people believing that horse drawn transport would never disappear, whereas nowadays it is mostly for pleasure.
What is YOUR Impossible Situation?
Are you facing an impossible situation? How can you turn that into an opportunity?