There are two doors in our lives: on one we have boldly painted "past", on the other "future". We know one thing, the other is uncertain. But we have something else besides these doors, and we certainly have that: the key to both entrances. It says "present".
Only in the here and now can we decide how to deal with past issues and align ourselves directly to realize our wishes for the future. Life in the moment is the key to dealing with all of our past and future times.
HOW DO I LIVE IN THE MOMENT?
"Focusing on the present moment brings more happiness into life, helps us regulate our behavior, cope with setbacks, gives us gratitude for what we have and improves health", says health psychologist Sirois. But: "Living in the moment is not always positive. There are people who live in the moment because they are afraid of the future, and there are those who say: 'Today is all I have, so I live the maximum, no matter what the cost'. This attitude is related to negative behavior such as alcohol abuse, food addiction, or gambling addiction. So the crucial question is not: 'Do I live in the moment?' But rather 'How do I live in the moment?'". What we do in the now sets the direction for our future.
It is precisely this future perspective that is important for us humans, says cognitive scientist Jim Davies, otherwise, we cannot plan our next vacation any more than our professional path. "Thinking about our possible future is something very powerful - but you have to do it right," says the lecturer at the Institute for Cognitive Research at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada: "For example, I'm currently writing a book. I can now imagine how the book will one day be in the store and that everything will be wonderful once it is. Sounds wonderful - but it doesn't work that way." The matter is more complicated: When we imagine something very intensely, our body reacts accordingly and gives us the signal: It is all happening. So maybe we slack off; we don’t strive as hard. "Instead, it's better to think about how I'm going to do it," says Davies. "Imagining the goal achieved is less effective than visualizing the individual steps that it takes to achieve the goal. I have to be present in the moment and work on what's on my desk with full awareness."
Let go of the past
So much for the future. What about the past? Of course, we all have a history, have had experiences, have been injured, maybe traumatized. And yes: we also had beautiful moments. Sometimes in the midst of painful memories we forget the moments of joy. Ideally, we learn from our experiences: We know that a stovetop is hot on level nine, we know - if we let ourselves into it - that our feelings are not deceiving us, we know where our children go to school, and so on and on. It gets tricky when we get stuck in our injuries and trauma, think them through again and again and experience them in the spirit. It's not something that helps us. At some point, there will come a time when we can let go of our past. At least those parts that don't get us any further. We don't have to reach for the hot plate 18 times to know that it is hot. Once is enough. When the wound has healed, the pain subsides - and what remains is the knowledge: I am no longer reaching out. This applies to hot stovetops as well as to loveless mothers, violent ex-husbands or uncomfortable school colleagues.
To be mindful means to be present
If you are interested in the good life in the now, you cannot avoid one term: mindfulness. A pioneer in mindfulness is Ellen Langer, an award-winning professor of psychology at Harvard University in the United States. She coined the term in the Americas over 45 years ago and sees mindfulness as a human ability that can be trained, for example by orienting ourselves to the present moment, being open to new things, being sensitive to different situations and being aware of that there are different perspectives in life, none of which is worse or better than the other.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, inventor of the "Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction" program and also a veteran in matters of mindfulness, defines mindfulness as a particular form of attention that arises when we intentionally focus on the current moment and do not judge whether this moment is, that situation or that person who is standing in front of us is good or bad.
Those who are mindful rest in their midst, do not allow themselves to be swept away by the challenges of the world but react appropriately and focus on their feelings - without trampling on those of others. The point is not to block out negative emotions, but to recognize them as part of life; To give them space when they are there - and to let them go when the right moment comes.
We can use the magical now to shape both the past and the future in so far as we decide how to deal with it. We are the masters of our life; sometimes we unlock one door, it says "past" on it, sometimes the other, the door of the "future". And we always have the master key with the fat "present" tag with us - and we're not giving it away anymore.
What do we mean by living in the moment, and what could that possibly do with being successful in life?
There has been a great deal of talk in recent years about this topic in the self-help and personal development fields, so let's first define what we are talking about here. You've probably heard the terms before present moment awareness, living in the now, the power of now, living in the moment; they are all speaking about the same thing.
Quite simply, living in the moment means being focused and present at this moment right now. It means you are not thinking about something that happened in the past; not about a conversation you had, an event that happened or an experience you had. It is also not about forecasting the future; about thinking about what you have to get done, about worrying about what might happen, how you are going to resolve a problem or projecting the fear of something unknown happening or coming into your life.
Living in the moment means you are focused solely on the task that is in front of you right now, on the conversation you are engaging in right now; it is about putting your total focus, energy and resources into this very second, this very moment.
So why is this so important in your ultimate success in life, be it personal, business or career?
Your true and real power to create, to grow, to build relationships exists in this very moment. When you are totally and completely focused on this present moment, all of your energy is here as well. Your mind is focused, clear and laser-sharp. It is not 'leaking' energy and draining your focus and power by regretting about the past or worrying about the future. You are fully engaged at this moment.
When you are in this state, your thinking is sharper, your emotions are more centered and not scattered, you are more prepared and energized to take action now, on whatever it is you are doing. When you are in this present moment state, your decision-making process also becomes better, more in line with your purpose and direction. You also become a better listener; you learn to listen to others with more compassion and understanding, which leads to building better and stronger relationships, both personally and professionally.
By living in the moment, you also learn to become a better listener to your intuitive inner voice. By being more present, your mind quiets down, which allows the wisdom from those internal messages to seep through.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT
"The key is to have a balanced perspective on time and to incorporate the past, present and future equally into our lives," says Fuschia Sirois, lecturer in health and psychology at the University of Sheffield in the UK. "Because it's my past, my present and my future. Many people think about the future, but do not see it as part of their own life or as a part of themselves. We have to reconnect with our future selves and bring them into our lives ." And we can only do that in the present moment.
It is essential to living consciously in the now and, if necessary, to get the experience and know-how from the past that you need right now to act. In the best-case scenario, you can set a course for the future.-“ Bettina Benesch”
We decide every second of our day whether we want to bring old injuries back into our lives, for example, or whether we should say goodbye to them to live the way we imagine. Whether we want to be mad at our boss again - or maybe look for a new place where our skills are valued. And we also decide what our future should look like. Fulfilled, happy and full of joy would be three perfect wishes for what is to come.
So begin today of practicing the skill of being present. When you consistently take action with clearly planned focused intent in the direction of your goals and dreams, success is inevitable!