The Life that is Happening Right Now…


Screen-Shot-2014-04-15-at-9.20.12-PMThere are more keys to living than you’ll find on a janitor’s key ring. There are keys to happiness; to success; to finding the elusive good life. You can find the right thoughts, the proper attitude, positivity, optimism and gratitude. It’s suggested that you declutter, simplify, rely less on material things; and get back to nature. And, all of those things are wonderful, but rarely effective until you finally learn to live the life that is happening right now.

How many of you have honestly contemplated why life seems so complicated? Each day is fraught with things to accomplish; your “to do” list, the never-ending expectations from others. You dream of the weekend, then feel anxious that the weekend is coming to an end. You long for your vacation only to dread when it’s almost time to go home. Everyone is waiting for that certain day in the future, while dragging around those bad days from the past. Even the bad days are really bad moments, but hey, that’s how you remember it! You’re so busy, so overextended, so worn out. Why? Is that how life is supposed to be? Do you win at life by getting the most done? To be happy, do you even have to get all of those things done? Is there enough time to be successful and be happy or must one be sacrificed at the expense of the other?

My wife and I always muse why we kill ourselves to get home from work and then plop our butts in front of the TV for the evening. You do realize that the weekend isn’t the only time to get things done, right? Apparently we don’t. But, I’m guessing that even though you may not fit into that scenario, you have your own rules about getting stuff done. In fact, we all have some rules in place that probably limit us in what we think we can do and when… Those rules aren’t the worst part though. The most defeating practices are those that drag us away from the moment called, “right now!”

Of all the things you wish you could control in life, in reality all you really have is right now. You need to exercise more? Exercise right now. You need to lose weight? Eat less at your next meal. You have a dream you need to get started on? Start right now? Behind all of our “reasons” why we don’t, remains the only moment you can effect – right now. I’m a big fan of making lists and getting things out of my mind and onto the paper. But, if you think it through, often our lists serve as a delay tactic. They’re glorious for organizing, but suck at helping us to stay in the moment. The same is true for setting goals. It’s easy to put that deadline out there, but as it approaches you realize you need more time. Living in the moment helps you remain focused today, which if multiplied out, would lead to the end result if you stuck with it.

Besides helping you to get stuff done, living right now helps you to enjoy the day. A successful life isn’t found in the moments of glory, but in the day-to-day; squeezing the most out of the moments you are in. Someone invites you to dinner, but you can’t go because it’s Tuesday. On Tuesdays you need to get home and watch your shows. Hey, you might not be ready for the workday tomorrow if you get all crazy and go to dinner today. Young people don’t function this way, that is until they also get stuck living for a future moment. We need to quit living in the future and live right now. Happiness is right now. Blessings are enjoyed right now. Knowing the best use of your time is found right now. It’s easy, but it’s hard. It’s only hard because people have become so accustomed to ignoring the moment in favor of preparing for the future. Have you ever watched someone on TV living what seems to be a glorious life; plenty of money, free time, going to cool places or exotic restaurants or fabulous parties? Then you think, well that could never be my life. Actually it could be your life if you wanted it badly enough and maximized your day-to-day to get to your desired end. Why don’t you get there? Because you spend your days distracted, wasting away all of the “right nows” in favor of a wishful future. Maybe all you want is more fun, but you can’t have more fun because there’s too much you have to do, responsibilities and all. However, you can find fun right now, even inexpensive fun, if you will quit dreading some future day whereby your irresponsible fun is going to get you!

Most people spend their days drifting along, caught up in their habits, never taking the time to appreciate the beauty that is today.  They’re bored, depressed, unhappy, waiting, always waiting for something good to happen, never considering the part they have to play in their own happiness. Your happiness is your responsibility and you have the time to make it happen. Sure work is important and finances the fun you want to have, but there’s more to life than work. When at work, do work at an exemplary level. When you get home, do everything else you want to do and break out of that rut. Tuesday matters just as much as Saturday.

It’s so sad when you consider how much of your life you spend just doing with no actual plans to do what you want most. What do you want most? What makes your heart beat a little faster? Quit living vicariously through the Kardashians and make your own reality show. Pursue your own dreams. Live your own short life and live it to the full!

Intentional living is all about living your life right now. Quit living for the future and stop dragging around the corpse of the past. Be present today. Do important things today. Change your unwanted behaviors today. Get off the couch, turn off the TV and make something happen. Don’t spend another moment waiting. Your life is far too precious and way too short to live any other way!

Right now is all you’ve got folks. Right now…

Just some good thoughts.

 

 

The Impossibility of the Cumulative Life…


cumulative-poisson-distribution-formulaI think if you are honest with yourself, and honesty is important in learning how to successfully navigate life, most of your difficulties come from your thoughts. You drag around this massive corpse of a memory of things long past. Since the past no longer exists in anything but your mind, it shouldn’t have such an impact on the person you are today. Now, I’m not referring to pleasant memories or past learning. I’m talking about the bad things or the weaknesses or issues you doggedly assign to yourself in the present. Maybe you did have trouble standing up for yourself when you were 12, but to stubbornly cling to that worn out notion at age 40 makes no sense. The reason this mountainous weight of a stone clings to your psyche is because you keep it alive in your mind by trying to live a cumulative life.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or exercise more and then failed miserably shortly thereafter? Say what you want about discipline, losing weight and exercising more, though producing a cumulative effect, cannot be successfully undertaken with a cumulative mindset. In other words, you have to decide to eat less or healthier or exercise right now, today. The fact that you did what you said for the past three days guarantees nothing. The fact that you didn’t do what you said you were going to do for the past three days means nothing either. What matters is right now. What can you do right now? If you can get real good at doing “right now,” soon you will experience a cumulative effect!

For some reason, people have the hardest time living in the present. Assuming we all have weaknesses and areas we don’t do so well in, how could we ever possibly expect to change anything living entangled in a spaghetti bowl of multiplied yesterdays? Add to that trying to live in some future day and now you are just a sloppy Joe (poured over spaghetti)!

God, if I may speak for Him, designed life to be lived right now in succinct 24 hour periods (The evening and the morning were the first day). Imagine the idea of having a bad day if the day lasted forever. But, that’s exactly how people live; one perpetually long day. Instead each day is cleverly separated by night (sleep) and in the morning a new day begins. “Well, tomorrow is new day!” Every new day is an opportunity for you to begin anew, fresh. What you did wrong yesterday generally has little bearing on your life, that is of course unless you allow it to. You allow it to by granting it “airplay.” Yes, sure you need to learn from whatever, but you aren’t playing that track for any learning. You are re-playing it because you feel bad and are punishing yourself. But now listen closely for a moment here. Does any amount of self-flagellation make you a better person? Does your incessant focus on yesterday or a year ago or ten years ago or your childhood or “that one thing” do anything to change it? It only exists in your mind. Your cumulative negative past doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with your life right now! So, my friend, just let it go. Stop persisting in your perpetual bad day and start fresh.

When you decide to live right now, in the new day, you give yourself permission to begin again. Remember the first time you played a certain sport? You probably sucked right? If you held the thought of how bad you sucked and never tried again, you’d still suck, I’m guessing. But, if you had the courage to start again and again and again, at some point you got pretty good. Your life is like that. Those negative images; those frightful memories do not serve the person you are today. They do just the opposite. They hold you back. God does not want you to be held back! Every day; every single day, He is giving you another fresh start. Shoot, He even sent His son to pay the price for everything you could ever do wrong! Everything! You aren’t doing God any favors by living in your past. Instead you are stubbornly refusing His gift to you; a new beginning!

Life was not designed to be lived cumulatively. You are not the sum of everything you have ever done and not done. Instead, you are who you are right now, in this moment. Right now you can be a tremendous source of love, compassion and kindness. Oh, you weren’t that yesterday? So what! Be it today. Well, up to now you haven’t had much success? So what! Decide to be a success right now! What if I forget tomorrow? You never have to deal with tomorrow, only right now! If you live to be 80 years old, that means you have 29,219.4 days to live. How many days have you already wasted, caught up thinking about something that happened on day 10,957.3?

If you believe what I’m telling you and I sure hope you do, you will begin to understand that life is to be lived one day at a time. Imagine how much weight will be lifted off your shoulders when you agree with God and focus your energy on today. Imagine how sweet your life can become by making this day the best ever and refusing to let yesterday creep in. Imagine…huh?

The cumulative life is an impossible life!

You are who you are today. Don’t let anyone (even yourself) tell you otherwise…

Just some good thoughts…