You must have heard many people say “live in the moment!” It has become a famous motivational quote these days. It is even on people’s t-shirts today. Everyone preaches others to live in the moment. But it can be a useless advice sometimes. Why? Keep reading to find out.
Most people think that when they are physically present but psychologically absent, they are not in the moment. You might have heard teachers say this to you in the school. If you are sitting in the class and thinking of something else instead of focusing on the study, then they say you are not present in the class.
This idea evolves itself inside people’s minds and they end up confusing physical and mental attention with their presence.
The reality is, you are always present in the moment. You are always living in a given moment. Your mind may be thinking about something else and your body might be doing something else. But this does not mean that you are not living in the given moment. It just means you are not paying attention, which is a different issue.
People think that paying attention to something happening means living in the ‘now’ or ‘the moment’. They have a conception that if you do something, let’s say eating, then you must eat and only eat.
You must pay full attention to eating. If you eat and think of something else, you are not present in the moment.
This is a huge misunderstanding in the minds of people. Why? Just experiment with yourself. Whenever you have food the next time, just focus on eating, and do not do anything else.
Or even now when you are reading this article, only focus on reading, not anything else. Don’t think, don’t breathe, don’t beat your heart, and don’t do anything. Just read. Is it possible? Of course not.
So does that mean you do not exist in the moment at all if you multi-task? Hell no!
The human body is designed to multi-task. You can read this article and think about something else simultaneously. Or eat and do the same. What is the problem?
The fundamental cause of the misunderstanding in people is they think that if you have to live in the moment, you have to pay 100% attention to the task at hand. Attention should not be confused with living in the present.
Whatever you do, you are anyways in the present. Whether you are conscious and aware of it or not. You always exist in the ‘now’, and you can never escape it. When you make plans for the future and that day comes, it is not the future anymore. It is the present that you live in.
Whenever you exist, that is the present. You can never exist in the future or the past. Let’s say in a hypothetical situation you travel back or forward in time, that moment becomes your present for you to live.
It might be the past or the future for others, depending upon when they are living. But for you, your existence is always the present. Now you exist consciously or unconsciously, that is in your hands.