‘Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift. That’s why it is called Present .’
These are some wise words by cartoonist Bill keany . You have probably heard from some spritual teacher or from psychologists (after conducting years of research) the benifits of ‘ living in the moment‘ and surely no one of us knowingly want to dwell on past or future or not want to live in the present.
Of course it is our ‘monkey mind ‘ (as called by Buddhists) which creates all the difficulties to ” be in the present”. Also much of the problems arise because the way we evolved, we always taught to focus on the future ‘make your carrer, make relationships, get a promotion, blah blah etc.
Thinking about the future or the past is not a bad thing actually, we can learn or grow only about thinking about our past mistake , we make plans only by looking at our future. But the problem arises when we become so judgemental abot our thoughts ‘if I could do that in other way’ , ‘ what if this will not work out,what will i do’ these kind of lines are culprits.
‘Al our fears resides in our memory‘ i remember hearing it in some seminar.. Our mind is constantlly is in dilemma about the future, on two opposite forces ‘Fear and hope‘
Even famous psychologists Mihai csikszentmihayi in his book Flow strongly mentions that we can get maximum happiness when we are completely involved in the work at our hand ,that is being in the present.
But the question is what’s the solution , how to keep this monkey mind in the present I think following things might be helpful.
1. Become aware of your thoughts On an average 12000 to 60000 thoughts come to our mind a day (imagine). If we are going to analyse each thoughts ,we woud be crazy.
Human being has an unique capability of observing own thoughts as outsider , you can become aware of your thoughts and pick thoughts which seems useful to you ( most of the thoughts are i guess are of no use). Don’t talk with yourself too much ,become silent and listen to your inner being. Also Science strongly supports this fact ‘you can freeze something by constantly observing it’ known as ‘Quantum Zeno effect‘
2. You can keep a journal This is a habit which most of the great persons (from Benjamin Franklin to Tim Ferris) in the used in their lifetime. The best way to track your thoughts is to write them down. write down thoughts whenever they bother you and you will be at ease . Writing has amazing effect on your brain. Don’t believe me ,try it out.
3. Notice more It’s very common for people to go on a vacation to a beatiful place and say ‘ It’s so beatiful , I want to come here someday’ but just think she/he is aready there. We are so trapped in our thoughts that we forget to experience, to notice things around us. It is important to use our senses more , which helps us to be in the present.
4. Observe your breathing for some time in a day Few days back i come across an interesting artice, which said ‘most of us don’t understands the value of proper breathing’ . As most of us know breathing has very important role in calming our mind. We can become aware of breathing only by observing it for atleast some minutes a day. To know more on this you can click the ink beow- ‘How to breathe properly’
Well, there can be several ways to handle your ‘monkey mind’. But all the ways can be summed up to one word ‘Mindfulness‘ , and these little things help to become mindful. And here is a trick, don’t make mindfulness your goal, then it is again about future. Just be at this moment as you read this post.
Another very interesting thing is, according to a survey people who are just surviving their workweek and eagerly waiting for just weekends to come to enjoy waste almost 70% of their life. I am sure no one wants to be in that group. Little things makes big impact on our life, therefor we must put our heart and soul at whatever we do in that moment and for that, we must do what we enjoy to do.
What are your views on this ?