The Definition of “The Present”
“The present is all there ever is, and all there ever will be”…. so what does it mean to be present? To put it simply, it means to not dwell on the past, nor anticipate the future. Instead, to enjoy RIGHT THIS SECOND of your life. And according to the Oxford Dictionary, “present“, when used as an adjective, means “existing or occurring now“. And when used as a noun, it means “the period of time now occurring“.
Knowing and acknowledging the definition of “present” is easy. But when it comes to BEING present (adj.) and living life in the present(n.), many of us tend to struggle with truly grasping its core idea. How do we stay in the present moment when so many things from the past continue to haunt us day by day? And how do we not worry about the future when our inevitable mortality is creeping up on us every second?
What Does It Mean To Be Present?
Have you ever been so concentrated doing something you love that you forgot to eat and sleep? So focused on what you’re doing that the passing of time became invisible to you? Yup, that’s what being present and being IN THE FLOW feels like.
When you’re in the flow, you experience a sense of ecstasy. A feeling like no other. Nothing that happened in the past seems to matter anymore, and nothing that might happen tomorrow seems to change how you feel right this second. Being present is truly a wonderful feeling. It opens our senses to take in what the world has to offer. We start seeing the world in a different way, and start paying attention to details we might have never taken notice before.
Have you seen this video where loved ones were asked to stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes? By truly being present with each other, and looking deeply into each other’s eyes. They were all able to genuinely appreciate the presence of their loved ones, and remind themselves of how lucky they are to have this person in their lives. That is what life is all about! Experiencing the world deeply, fully, and completely.
The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
When we live in a society where all we seem to care about is “GO GO GO”, and reaching for the next big thing. Being present seems to have become a concept so foreign to us. As soon as we achieve our goal of making $60k a month, we start looking for ways to make more money, and more money, and MORE. We are always anticipating for SOMETHING BETTER to come along… But isn’t the present moment good enough? We’re breathing, we’re living, we’re experiencing life. Isn’t that great?
“Ugh… Can’t wait till I become a millionaire so I can buy a mansion in Beverly Hills!”
“Sigh… Can’t wait till I have a boyfriend/girlfriend so I can have a romantic love story!”
“Aigh… Can’t wait to leave this place so I can go home and lay in my comfy bed!”
I’m sure most of us have complained like this before, and I’m certainly guilty of it too. Even today, I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy the beauty of the now, instead of anticipating the future. Which doesn’t even exist yet! Let’s think about it, has there ever been a time where you were able to access the past or future?? NOPE! So why do we dwell on the past, and worry about the future as if we have control over it? The truth of the matter is, the only thing we can control is the present moment. POINT, BLANK, PERIOD.
Why Is Being Present Important?
Being present has so many benefits. In fact, I would even argue that being present is the only way to a happy and fulfilled life. Every second of our lives are moments that we can’t get back, and wasting it by mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, or comparing ourselves to strangers on Instagram, we’re letting our precious life slip away.
Some Of The Many Benefits Of Being Mindful
- Everything we do becomes more purposeful
- When speaking to others, we listen instead of waiting for our turn to reply, which improves our social skills
- We can focus and concentrate for a longer time period
- Able to understand what truly matters in life
- Improve our well-being by decreasing the level of stress and worry
- Achieve a Higher level of satisfaction with life
- Better relationship with our loved ones
- Able to appreciate and be grateful for everything in life
Books I Love Regarding The Importance Of Being “Here”
These are the two books that have really helped me understand what it means to “be here now”. I hope they will provide some kind of awakening to your life as they did to mine!
“Don’t Let The Future (Or The Past) Steal Your Present!”
Mastering the art of being present is a life-long journey. Sometimes when we’re caught in traffic on the way to an important event, or rejected by someone we really like, it’s quite hard to stay present and accept our reality. We might even start thinking, “Oh, maybe if I would’ve done that, then this wouldn’t have happened”, or “I should have not gone to that party last night! It was such a waste of my time”.
But hey, it’s completely okay if you catch yourself slipping sometimes! We all have days where we can’t help but worry about the future or the past. As long as you are aware of your thoughts, and understand that your thoughts don’t define you. Then you can have the power to redirect your energy on appreciating the present moment. I know all of this may sound easy, but we all know it’s hard work. However, that’s what makes life interesting, and why self-improvement is so fulfilling.
Learning to become more aware of my consciousness has been a long journey for me. There have been days where I felt like I was becoming so present with life that I could become a monk if I wanted to. But then, there were also days where I felt like I was back at the starting point, complaining about every single thing in life. And I want all of you to understand that this is completely normal. As long as you’re working hard to become a better version of yourselves every day, you’re on your way to something great! We’re all in this together, so let’s enjoy this beautiful journey of life.
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