Three Ways We Miss Out On Now

Where has the time gone? Many of us ask as we approach the end of the year Why does time seem to move so quickly? And can we do anything to slow it down?

There might be.

Many books and articles discuss our relationship with something called the Present Moment, or, The Now. Most philosophies point to how difficult it is to remain present and mindful—two buzzwords you probably know well. But these trendy topics seem to have profound meaning.

How much time have you spent today thinking about something that has already happened? Or planning for something that might happen? As we spend our time wrapped up in thoughts of the past and future, we naturally miss out on our lives as they actively unfold in front of us. Before we know it, a year has gone by! Perhaps we even feel underwhelmed with our accomplishments, level of fulfillment, fitness, etc.

Now that’s some food for thought.

Eckhart Tolle, a well-known author and thinker, describes three of the most common relationships we have with the present moment:

We see it as a means to an end.

Too often we are doing something just to tick off our checklists or get to the next thing. We could make even the dullest of activities more fulfilling by taking them as they are.

We see it as an obstacle.

We interpret moments as if they are all problems. As things to “get through” before we can truly feel happy and fulfilled. The real problem, is not knowing how to stop seeing our everyday lives as a series of issues we constantly need to overcome!

We see it as an enemy.

Then there are the moments when we are caught up in negative thinking patterns which include complaining and blaming. This makes our reality an emotional battlefield.

So, how do we use these realisations to bring about greater awareness—and even enjoyment—into our lives?

  1. Become aware when you feel negative emotions—e.g. impatience, stress, anxiety, disappointment, anger, or envy.

  2. Ask yourself: How do I see this present moment?

  3. If the answer is one of the above three, it’s a great opportunity to practice embracing the Now.

  4. Make this moment into a friend by accepting it as it is and go back to being the real you.

What benefits might you find from practising this new mental framework?

You might find more enjoyment in life. When even the smallest tasks start to matter in their own way, your whole life can take on greater meaning. Be present with the small things and appreciate them!

By taking each moment as it comes you can reduce stress and anxiety—two feelings built on anticipation of negative events.  

You may start to accomplish more with less effort. All the energy you spent anticipating, worrying, and judging will now be put into being present. This will allow you to see, think, and do with more clarity.

Buzzwords aside, we can all benefit from being active witnesses to our lives. Staying present in a world of distractions will take time—but all good things are worth that investment!