Everyone has moments they look back on with fondness, moments perhaps which even define them as a person.
Sadly for many of us, those moments are too few and far between.
Sometimes it’s because life is too busy.
However, much of the time it’s because we simply fail to live in the moment.
Thomas Carlyle once wrote, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
That statement had a profound impact on a man by the name of Sir William Osler.
In a speech to students at Yale University, Osler related the truth of that statement in a short sentence, “live in day-tight compartments.”
Osler went on to explain. He said forget about yesterday, don’t focus on the future and simply focus on today. Put another way, live in the moment.
Researches have accumulated DATA on what makes people unhappy.
What they discovered is that one of the contributors to unhappiness is a habit that everyone engages in throughout the day. It’s called mind-wandering.
We as humans have the ability to let our minds wander to other things instead of focusing on the task directly in front of us.
In other words, we are not doing what lies clearly at hand.
Let’s face it. We live in a fast-paced demanding world.
Everything was due yesterday.
Because of that, we feel a constant need to be planning ahead, thinking about the tasks yet to be completed.
This causes chaos and confusion and yes, unhappiness.
Over the past few months, there have been a plethora of books on the market about mindfulness.
Mindfulness is defined as achieving a state of mind where one focuses on the present moment.
Some of these writers express this idea as if it is a new concept.
They forget that the greatest teacher who ever lived taught this principle two-thousand years ago.
He said not to worry about tomorrow. He even went so far as to say not to even worry about what you would eat, drink or wear.
What he was saying was to focus on the moment you are in.
How many of us have missed out on life simply because we let our minds wander at the wrong times?
We are with our children playing a simple game but our minds are at work.
Instead of enjoying time with our spouse we are thinking about other ways we could be making money.
At other times we can’t enjoy our day off from work because we are worried about whatever is screaming at us the most in our minds.
Moments are special. Sadly, if we don’t learn to live in those moments while they are happening there is a good chance we won’t even remember them.
Life is short and is made up of moments. Let’s enjoy each and every one.