True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This quote is about relaxing and being ‘in the moment.’ How often do we hurry to get here or there?
How often do we rush to finish something so that we can then rush to work on the next thing on our list? How often do we spend an evening worrying about tomorrow, instead of relaxing?
Yes, it is important to think about the future, and to plan for it. However far too many of us spend so much time thinking of the future, we ignore the present, until it has become the past.
That time is gone, and if it was spent worrying or being anxious, it was largely wasted. We allowed a perfectly enjoyable moment to slip by while we engaged our overactive, and quite negative, imagination to run away with us.
Why is the present important?
Well, we really only have the present. The past is gone, and the future has yet to arrive. Yes, you’ve heard that one before, probably in a few dozen different wordings. Yet it remains true, we only really have today, really only have right this instant. Well, the instant that just went by, at least.
All silliness aside, we want to spend a little time in the past, learning from our experiences, and drawing conclusions from our history. We also want to spend a little time in the future, planing, preparing, and looking for opportunities. Those are worthwhile things to do with our time.
Yet so often people will get caught in grip of worry, anxiety, or concern for things that are outside of their control, and usually in the future. You can either do something about it, or you can’t. If you can, get busy, and if not, don’t worry, right?
It sounds mindlessly simple, and it is. We just have a tendency to be so busy that we never really notice. That is why putting some effort into reducing your anxiety and worry about the future is so useful. In one smooth motion, you reduce your stress about the future, and the reduce it again by enjoying the present.
Where can I apply this in my life?
We all stress a bit, from time to time. We have deadlines, appointments, things to do, people to see, places to be, all that stuff. It can be so easy to lose track of who we are, and what we stand for in all the hustle and bustle in our world.
That is where enjoying the present comes in. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean plant yourself on the couch and watch the world go by. That’s procrastination or sloth, and neither are really enjoying the present, they are just burning it.
Enjoying the present is a little different than being lazy. You can do things and still enjoy the present. As I type this, I am enjoying the present. I’m feeling the keys beneath my fingers, and hearing the words in my head as I work on the blog.
While I know I will have to find a picture, which is typically the toughest part of putting the blog together, I’m not worried or anxious about it. I can do nothing about it as yet, because I haven’t finished the blog. The picture comes last, after I have figured out what examples I will use.
I know it’s waiting for me, but I’m letting it wait. I’m in the present, and will remain here, enjoying every moment I can. There will be a time for the picture later, and when it is my present, I will try to enjoy it as well. Either that or get frustrated with it. But I won’t worry about the future.
As odd as it sounds, you can be busy enjoying the present while eating, washing dishes, or doing any number of things. Focus on what is happening, and notice details. Be involved in the activities of the moment, not a bystander observing some general details from a window across the street.
Even something as pleasant as watching a sunset can be done while enjoying the present, or simply be a diversion from your crazy day. Are you taking the time to examine the colors? Are you feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin? Or are you just sitting there until it gets dark, so you can get back to what you were doing?
Life can be busy. Happiness comes in many forms. One of them is to simply enjoy the present moment. Neither regretting a prior moment, nor agonizing over what the next moment might bring. Simply being in the present moment, and being part of it. Relax. Be happy.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna121552.html
Photo by Don McCullough
- Being fully in the present… (jamesneed.wordpress.com)
- Help for the Worries, Anxiety Relief…. (itworkswithlisa.wordpress.com)
- Enjoy What Is (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable. (philosiblog.com)