Carpe Diem: All You Got Is Now
The past has gone, and the future is still to come, so the present — the here and now — is all we have.
This ability to live fully in the now elude most people.
When you eating your appetizer, enjoy it. Eat your appetizer slowly and deliberately. Don’t be concerned with dessert and how that will taste. That’s for the future, even if that future is a couple of minutes or seconds away. When you read a book, note where your thoughts are. When you are on vacation, be there instead of focusing on what should have been done and what has to be done once you head home.
Never let the elusive present moment get swallowed up by thoughts that aren’t in the here and now.
The habit of having your mind drift off to other times and places while you are in the now is ironic. The only place you can drift off to is in the now because now is all you ever got. So drifting off to the now is a way of optimising your present moments.
You do have a past. But not now!
And yes, you have a future. But not now!
Nothing stops you from consuming your now with thoughts of “then” and “maybe”, but that will keep you from the inner peace and success you could experience.
Animals don’t waste the present in thoughts of the past and future.
As Christopher McDougall wrote :
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
Both the gazelle and the lion have to stay in the now.
If the gazelle breaks that law, it means death comes swiftly. For the lion, it means death knocks on the door of starvation, and it normally enters after the third failed hunt.
Instead of feeling guilty about the past or worrying about the future, we can learn from God’s creatures and simply enjoy the moment.