Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Be here now

Are you a "what if" thinker? If so, you spend a lot of time trying to imagine what might happen. What if I don't get _________? What if so-and-so never calls me back? What if my test results show I have a terrible disease? On and on it goes, right?

I've done that myself. Still do sometimes—and regret it. Most of what I've worried about has never happened. I've lost a lot of time and energy thinking about what might happen rather than tending to life right here, right now. That also means I've lost a lot of contentment and joy—the kind that comes from savoring the only time I really can be sure I have: now!

It helps if I can stop myself as soon as I hear the words in my head: "What if?" That's the first step. The second step is to examine the thought: What's the likelihood of this happening? And can I actually do anything about it ahead of time? If there is nothing I can do, it's wisest to simply let the thought go. Shake it off. Move on to something that's happening in the present. Focus on that. Enjoy the moment right now.

Many spirituality gurus and writers speak of living "awake and aware." Some, such as Eckhart Tolle who wrote The Power of Now, delve deeply into the topic. Whether you are interested in writings on the topic or in simply living in a more present way, I invite you to try eliminate "what if" thinking. I'm committing to do the same whenever it crops up in my life.


  1. Excellent advice. I'm going to work on that!

  2. I need constant reminders as it's so easy to slip into old ways.