When we talk about self growth, personal development and becoming your best self, we talk a lot about living in the moment. Many people confuse living “in” the moment for living “for” the moment and try to avoid it. Here are some clues for which one you are doing.
Living FOR the Moment
We are totally consumed by the emotion/sensation that we are experiencing. It is absolutely impossible to see PAST this moment. We are so focused in the feeling, either positive or negative, that there is no ‘next’ moment.
It feels self-indulgent. That’s probably because it is. We put ourselves and our feelings first above all other things. I believe that is the definition of self-indulgent!
There are no potential consequences. We do something that makes us feel good and we are surprised to later find out that there are consequences to pay. It is a shock each and every time it happens to us. By the way, certain bad feelings, like worry, have the same effect.
Living IN the Moment
We are 100% present in the here and now. Living in the moment allows us to practice the “ministry of presence”, a gift we give to ourselves and all those we are interacting with. This is particularly true when we are focused on family members. It truly is a case of quality over quantity. When the interactions feel so good to the other person, when they feel acknowledged and loved, it doesn’t seem to matter how much of that they get, as long as that’s what they get each and every time.
Everything we do is a conscious decision. When we are totally present, one of the beautiful things that happens is that we start choosing what we’ll do in this moment and, as a byproduct, we start taking responsibility for everything in our life. Living consciously, grounded in our beliefs and values, is a very heady experience.
We are aware that this moment leads to the next one Even when we are 100% present in this moment, we know that the next one is coming. Our goa.l is to embrace that upcoming moment with the same focus and presence of this one. However, we can’t be present if we start living in the next one. It’s the awareness that life is a series of connected moments, each to be lived fully, that makes the difference here.
Making the Choice
One of the best things about focusing on becoming our best self is that we get many opportunities to make a new choice. Just because we’ve done it one way for our whole lives means nothing when it comes to making a choice for the next moment. Each day, each moment, is the opportunity to make a different choice. It’s part of the miracle of living in the present. This is the moment that counts!