Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.
How can you have a vision and live in the present? Shouldn’t you live for the future?
The problem with living for the future is you lose the opportunity to enjoy each moment. And, the truth is, the present moment is the only moment you have. The only way you ever experience the future is when it becomes the present.
So what’s this vision stuff about? Why not just live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow? Actually, when you have a vision, you don’t need to be preoccupied with excessive worry about the future.
Vision is not about planning every detail. In fact, if you plan all the details, you are likely to be frustrated because there is too much you cannot control, especially when it comes to other people and external forces.
Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going and what will guide your journey.
When you are guided by a vision, you are able to live more fully in the present. When you know what you want, you recognize opportunities as they arise and can respond quickly. You don’t need to “worry about tomorrow” because you know you are on the path to your destination. And while you are on that path, you can enjoy it… if you remember to live in the present and get the most out of each moment.
Three things you can do to get the most out of each moment.
Even when you understand the value of staying in the present, it can be difficult to remember. Here are three things you can do to bring you back to the present moment:
Pay attention to what’s happening. Slow down. Did you ever finish a meal and realize you never tasted it? Chances are there’s something delightful that you’re missing out on if you are busy multi-tasking or preoccupied. What’s actually going on right now? What do you see? What sounds do you hear? What do you taste or smell?
Breathe. Your mind can live in the future but your body can’t. Being aware of your breathing forces you to move out of your mind and into your body. Is your breathing shallow? Feel the pleasure of your lungs expanding as you bring in needed oxygen.
Be curious. Question your assumptions. Were you really slighted by Alice when she walked past and didn’t smile? Maybe she was preoccupied and didn’t notice you. Maybe she’s shy. If you remain curious, don’t make snap judgments and are willing to live without knowing, you won’t get trapped by the wrong answer. Suspend judgment in order to discover the truth of each moment.
You don’t have to hike to the top of a mountain to take in the beauty of each moment.
Each moment has its own inherent beauty and possibility for joy. Will you always be happy? No. But you will be engaged in the full range of the human experience, fully alive. And you will be better able to see the possibilities as they arise that will lead you in the direction of your vision.