We are carrying the burden of self-consciousness with us wherever we go. But what exactly is this burden I am talking about? It’s the burden of being able to imagine the future. We are able to conceptualise a future with our eyes closed. First of that this is even possible is amazing. I mean do you realize what that actually means? While you are physically sitting somewhere right now in the present moment your mind is able to imagine your possible future. Your mind is not only able to imagine your life for the next few days but it is able to imagine it for the next weeks, months, and years leading up to your death. I found it to be really mind blowing once I really gave a thought to it.
However, the downside is that because you are able to do such a thing you now begin to worry. You can see the future coming and you think “Uh oh! The future is coming better start getting shit done.” It is not just the present anymore that you have to worry about. You don’t just have to worry about whether you are hungry right now. You are going to have to worry about whether you will be hungry tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. But this doesn’t only affect your worry about your hunger. It spreads out to all areas of your life. Are my bills paid? Will I be able to continue working to earn money? Do I have to worry about getting fired? What if I get sick? Will I be able to provide not only for myself but for my wife/husband and child?
So what do we naturally do? We begin to work. What does that mean? We sacrifice the present for the future. But the price we pay for that is tremendous. We don’t get the present. And that’s a big price to pay right? What we are doing is that we put all the potential suffering of the future and put it into the present. All the time. Maybe we are able to live longer and healthier but we lose one essential part of living. That part is happiness.
You won’t be happy until you can stop worrying about the future and just focus on the present. Who really is unhappy when they are really living in the present? It most certainly won’t be you. Don’t believe me? Try it out. Just stop all your thinking for a moment and start to look around. Look around your room. Look outside the window and notice what is going on. Start to get a feel of your body. Notice your breath. Notice how your lungs fill with oxygen while breathing in and how they start to relax once you breath out. Begin to smile. You don’t have to laugh just a quick smile and you will feel better. Notice how all your worries came to a pause for moment? That is what living in the present actually is.
We won’t find true happiness and we won’t stop worrying until we learn how to live in the present and enjoy the moment. It isn’t just something that happens overnight. It is a skill that needs to be carefully practiced every single day. If that is to much for you, start with 3 times a week. But in all honesty if you aren’t able to pull this off daily you are in need for a 6 month long vacation. At least twice this year. This little practice won’t consume much more than a minute of your daily live but it will sure change the rest of it. Soon you will be able to enjoy more and more the present moment and start worrying less and less about your future. And all of a sudden without you even noticing it you are living in the future.