“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Why do we see tomorrow as the answer to happiness?
We all know that now is all we have and yet so many people think that the unlived life can wait until tomorrow.
There is only this moment.
But what does that mean?
It means not just living fully living in the moment, but planning your life in a way so you spend time on the things that will unfailingly lead to your self-realisation.
When I talk about living in the moment I don’t mean being super-busy. I mean focused on doing the things that will make you come alive. In my case, when I listen to music, draw and write poetry I feel whole, as if my complete being has shown up. Of course, most people can’t (or won’t) live like this because they think that it won’t pay the bills but that’s not the point. It’s possible to earn money and still leave enough room to pursue those aspects of your life that have the potential to open up your true self.
One of the best tools I’ve so far discovered for trying to make sense of living for now is to keep a daily journal. You don’t have to worry too much about its shape and form – the secret is to write something every day. To begin with you’ll probably find it no more than a brain dump, but, over time, you will begin to see how your inner voice transposes itself to the pages/screen. In the moment you write not only do you have an opportunity to work out your grievances with the way you are/are not living, but your mind also opens up to the creative possibilities that living a life on your terms offer.
I would also advocate that you write down a list of those things that you routinely put off which may encompass not only the things that you want to do but how you see yourself moving through the world. Keep refining the list every week to a point where you are left with the fewest things that you can realistically cope with in addition to the day job and all the other obligations that you’ve inherited. This list isn’t so much a to do list but rather a signpost for you to navigate your day by.
And finally once you’ve worked out what it is that you really want to with your life, you should make a firm pact to begin first thing every day working towards the thing that you believe will unlock the real you.
Take something like writing a book. Rather than read about writing or self-publishing, begin every day by writing as many words as you can. Don’t think about structure or characters to begin with but rather commit to the act of writing. Even if you only wrote 100 words a day, you’ll still have 700 by the end of the week and 36,400 by the end of the year (more than enough for a manifesto).
The thing is with life planning is we cannot be certain what lies round the corner but we can be certain of now. If you said that every day you were going to live the unlived life in this moment and not for tomorrow, just imagine how different your life would be.
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