Living in the present

‘Past is history, future is a mystery’, this is a quote well known to most of us which explain our scenario of life. In our everyday life, we come across two kinds of people.

One is the kind who is greatly impacted by some specific incidents of life. They take the pain or excitement associated with that particular incident and make that the basis of their present stage of life. For example, if a person fails at something important to him, he will carry a sense of failure and embarrassment along with him and be scared of trying in the future. The second is the kind who lives in the future. This person visualizes the future and lives in it. He lives a life of dream.

Both the above kinds escape the present by living in the past and future. As a result, they miss on the precious moments and the chances, life offers them. In the book ‘The Power of Now’, Eckhart Tolle has beautifully explained this, using a story of a beggar and a stranger. In this story, he talks about a beggar who begged daily sitting on a box with a cap in his hand. One day he met a stranger and begged him for some money. The stranger shrugged as he was poor and had nothing to give to him. But out of curiosity, he asked the beggar about the box which he was sitting on. To this, the beggar replied that he had never bothered to open the box before but now decided to open and look into it. To his amazement, he found the box filled with gold coins.

The beggar spent many years of his life begging and living a terrible life when he always had the wealth with him. This was because he never looked inside the box. Just like the beggar, we forgo everything that life offers us in the present when we start living in the past or the future.

What is meant by living in the present? 

Is it really bad to think about the future or learn from our past experiences?

Living in the present simply means being mindful of your every activity. It is about feeling your very presence at every moment you live. It is so unfortunate that in our fast-moving life, we work so hard for ourselves, to achieve our goals but fail to appreciate when it comes because we are so disconnected from our presence. Living in the present makes you find peace and happiness in your existence. It is at that moment that we realize that whatever we were looking for throughout our life was always there within us.

Nobody can change the past or correctly know the future. Planning for the future is good as long as we realize that life is what is in the present. Just planning for the future while disregarding your present is not sensible as the future or past cannot be lived, they can only be visualized.

Life lies in the present

Published by Sruti Shivakumar

An architect from India on a journey of self exploration

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