Living In The Now
I hope you are sitting down as you read this! You cannot begin to work on this kind of subject without addressing the subject of time itself - and when was the last time you did that?
There are three basic areas or modules of time that are most commonly referred to:
What I would like to do is have you work out where the "present" is though. In the time it has taken you to read just those last few words, that space in time that we might refer to as the present has gone. Gone where? Gone into the Past. The present then could be determined as not existing at all, or at the very best existing in a the merest speck of time imaginable. Every occuring event becomes a series of moments in the past almost instantaneously. Admittedly, not very far in the past, but in the past neverthless. The conclusion? The present - for all practical purposes, does not exist! This may seem like a very weird concept, but bear with me. As the present is so fleeting, the only way to "live in it" or handle it, is to look into the future, try to anticipate that which may occur during those moments, and prepare for it. Let's look at the future. We will never catch up with the future. It is always ahead of us and we will never experience events within it.
So where on earth does that leave us? The easiest way of confronting the subject (and to get back to living in the now), is to turn away from time as we currently measure it and mentally change the units into events. We can do this because we know that events have occurred, do occur, and will continue to occur. At last we have a constant! Something we can work with. To "live in the now" then, is to deal with, or handle the event with which our minds are currently occupied. How do you do that? Plan for the now by projecting your thoughts into the future.
A very practical example of this can be seen in pension plans (okay, I know it`s a boring subject, but it illustrates the point nicely!).. No sooner do we leave school and get a job, than someone is presenting us with a whole bunch of information we would much rather not know about - money at retirement. Probably the only thing that really makes any sense to us at the time is the word "money"! The principle is right there in front of us though. We are being encouraged to carry out an event in the now, by projecting our thinking into the future.
The principle then, is not new. For some reason though, we tend to push the principle aside and thus constantly finding ourselves struggling to overcome the situations that we come up against. Of course, we cannot prepare for every event. We do tend to get taken by surprise quite often. The result? Impulse reactions often rule the day.
Break it down into manageble pieces and put those pieces into perspective. Having done that, look at what positive skills and abilities you do have, and apply them as a starting point. What's that? YOU haven't got any? Well, think again! One of the skills or tools you have at your disposal, you are making use of this very minute - you are building your positive intake! You have sufficient positive motivation to learn. You have at least some degree of thirst for knowledge and progress that will work for you. It will carry you forward to greater things. It is a springboard to greater heights and achievement. Sadly, there are people out there who really are not at all bothered about improving their ability to strengthen themselves that they may withstand the buffetings of life. Instead they would rather muddle through. It is just too hard for them to comprehend a new, brighter, self. There is a reason for this. A reason that you should be aware of - they are consist of two types of people:
1)The kind of person who cares about nothing and cares about no-one other than themselves
2)A person who is low in self-esteem and cries out for support and recognition through a "devil may care" attitude.
You need to be aware in order that you may look for ways in which to help such people, but also that you may prepare yourself so that you may communicate with them in a positive manner. They may perhaps consist of people that live with you, but they do not live for you. Both you and they are responsible for your own decisions. Indeed, you both have a right to make your own decisions.
The whole topic covered here, can be summed up in very few words. In order to be able to live in the now, we need to plan for both whatever future events may hold, and prepare yourselves to be a reliable and dependable resource.
So how do you go about that? How do you go about planning for things that you do not know are going to happen? What do you do? Thrust your hand into a bran tub and come up with an item to work on? Nothing so vague.
Certain things in a typical life span are pretty certain events. You are born, go to school, start dating, get a job, get married, have children, retire and so forth. This is a basic common plan and one which you plan for almost on autopilot. I`m not saying that these things do not involve planning or detailed attention. They certainly do, but as they are not the unexpected, they flow along life's course.
No, it is the unexpected that you need to particularly plan for. In one of the "Pink Panther" films, Inspector Closeau (Peter Sellers) continues in the attempt to hone his hand-to-hand combat techniques with his assistant/servant (chinese), the inspector warns (chinese) to "expect the unexpected". Now, you could stop reading right here and the lesson will have been taught, but my guess is that you might want to know what kind of things you need to prepare for. Obviously, I could not possibly list everything here, but here are a few ideas to ponder on in no particular order:
? Food shortages
? Water shortages
? Particular illnesses - (check what runs in the family)
? How will you handle the news?
? How will you manage the affairs on behalf of the sick person?
? How will you tell others?
? Death in the family
? General health problems - dental. optical, etc
? Freak weather conditions
? Children being born
? Transport problems
? Car breakdown
? Public transport failure
? Fuel shortages
? Children leaving home
? Family pet problems
? Major financial outlay
? New job/promotion
So in summary then, how we go about living in the present is determined by how well we project our thoughts into the future. During the process of projecting such thoughts, we need to pay careful attention to the unexpected events that could potentially happen and prepare for them as thoroughly as possible. As we have determined that the "present" is so small a moment in time, then you had better start thinking about what you can do tomorrow to prepare for your future and always be one step ahead.
Douglas JG Harvey