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The Gift of Living in the Present

3 min read
The Gift of Living in the Present

Are you living life in the present, crying over the past, or dreaming about the future?

Have you ever heard the quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present”?

The present or gift is now, the past and the future both reside in your mind. While it’s certainly a great idea to visualize your future, it’s counterproductive to spend too much time there. As for the past, there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a stroll down Memory Lane. However, it’s wise to let go of that which no longer serves you and stop carrying the burden of the mistakes of your past. The past is gone and the future lives in your imagination.

We’ve all been guilty of not hearing the sound of opportunity knocking at one time or another. Maybe we just didn’t recognize the opportunity at the time. It’s the old shoulda, woulda, coulda. As for the future, taking action today is the best thing you can do to prevent you from worrying about tomorrow or having regrets. Worrying about the future is an exercise in futility. By not living in the present, we miss the beauty and joy of what’s happening now. 

One of my hobbies is photography, an enjoyable pursuit that allows us to capture today’s images, which will become tomorrow’s memories. However, artistic photography is much more than a means by which to record history, it’s a true art medium.  

Photography is a subtractive art form in that the photographer begins with the entire world and must selectively extract the elements that portray the essence of a place or subject. I photograph images that intrigue me on an emotional or artistic level and then do my best to capture and highlight the intrinsic charm of that magical moment.

The ability to suspend and preserve fragments in time is one of the reasons I love photography. The other is the art of seeing. It requires me to be totally in the moment, cognizant of these magnificent vignettes of everyday life. The world is my canvas and I feel privileged to share my vision of this fascinating planet with others. 

Being in the moment allows you to focus on what’s in front of you. Many people go through life in a trance and don’t stop to take the time to live in the moment. They’re going though the motions as if they’re on autopilot. Some people also tend to think that by multi-tasking they’re accomplishing more, when they’re really not giving either task 100% of their focus. 

Once I visited a physician who asked me to explain the reason for my visit. In the middle of my explanation, he began reading my chart. Not only did I find this to be quite rude, it was also quite inefficient as it’s very difficult to read and listen at the same time. Notice I said I visited this physician “once”!  

Think about the instances when you’ve been so engrossed in something that you totally lost track of time; it could be a hobby, a book, a movie, dinner with a friend, or anything you love doing. That’s called living in the moment. When you’re living in the moment you’re living in the present. If you’re not living in the present, you aren’t enjoying the gift of today and the world of may never discover the gifts you might have contributed.

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