“What could I have if I just did something more than what I’ve done?”
Living in the present is not easy. We want things, we want money, we want a family, yet there is still only limited time in a day. Practicing to bring yourself to the present is key in reaching a place of contentment. The future holds anxiety and the past holds regret. The present, however, if utilized properly, can remind you that you have what you need, and the rest is a bonus.
This past weekend, I was reminded of this. I was staring out a large open window and became fixated on two clouds passing an open, blue sky. They undulated slightly in shape, and I watched their shape change. And even in that moment of contentment, I still almost fell for the old, mindless trap of out-of-the-present type thinking. I went back into the past, and remembered how I enjoyed watching clouds as a child. Although this memory was not harmful, nor did it cause any negative emotion, I realized how difficult it can be and how much energy it takes to focus on the present. So I refocused my attention and enjoyed the dark blue sky in front of me and the way the clouds kept moving out of view. This was no great achievement that would garner much attention or any praise, nor would it get me money or things, but it was an achievement never-the-less.
Focusing on the present is an underestimated skill. There is an open space on the opposite side of the present that will always see more than what we have. There is no harm in setting goals, but there is harm in not knowing where to start processing about goals, and losing touch of the now. We can walk into the past and present it without even knowing we’re there, and the consequence is that we lose track of the real definition of contentment. There is no quick fix solution to feel how you want to feel. Finding time to practice such a usage of your time is not easy, but well worth it. With time, patience, and practice, you will feel calmer and more relaxed. Goals will then be put into their proper place, and the result is feeling good overall.