Friday, 27 March 2015

Why It's Hard To 'Live For The Now'



Live for the now, Someday is here and now - make the most of it, Live today because yesterday is over and tomorrow may never come. I could go on and on with the classic, inspirational quotes about life that you read - accept they make sense - yet struggle to actually act on them. I'm the worst culprit. I understand that you should make the most of today but there always seems to be something standing in the way...

Recently, I've read quite a lot of blog posts about people who have made major changes - perhaps by quitting their job/degree, moving somewhere new or going travelling - in order to be happy. To live for the now. To not worry about where they will be years - or even months - down the line, but to be happy at this particular moment in time and enjoy life without worrying about what 'could' happen. 

Every time I read one of those posts, I sit and think "why don't I just do that?" Why don't I try and live for today rather than fretting about the future or pondering over the past?
I've spent far too much time, recently, dwelling on the past and being fearful of the future, so much so, that it's preventing me from making the most of the here and now. Adulthood has hit me hard. It truly is soul-destroying working day in, day out to earn a wage and have the majority of that wage gone, before you know it, on rent, bills, food, petrol etc. Not luxuries - but just the basics. It feels like my life is just work, eat, sleep, repeat. But I like the stability and security of it. The thought of not having that terrifies me. 

This is why I struggle with the concept of 'living for now'. I want to make the most of my life, at this present moment in time, but when nothing particularly exciting is happening, I find it quite hard. 
How can I embrace a life which is just pretty boring? Instead, more often than not, I seem to find myself looking forward to what's to come (even though none of it is certain) instead of making the most of what I have now. Don't get wrong, there are days when I sit and think 'life ain't so bad'. I have a job, flat, car and a long-term relationship and great family and friends. But it still feels like somethings missing. Will I, in a years time, look back and regret the amount of time I spent being unhappy? Probably.

Unfortunately, the society we're in makes it hard to live for the now, in my opinion. For me, money is a big issue - it shouldn't be, but it is. I like being able to buy new things and treat myself every now and again - who doesn't? I like to save for future purchases. Making a drastic lifestyle change will probably involve taking big financial risks, and although money isn't everything, it's hard to not sometimes feel like it is.

I wish I could be one of those people that has the courage to do what they truly want to do without worrying about how things might pan out. I wish I dared to take more risks. But I crave security and, without it, I feel even more anxious and worried. I'm not so sure how well living for the now coincides with stability and security - can the two co-exist together?

The famous Buddha quote: "The trouble is, you think you have time" hits home for me. I read an article, recently, which was doing the rounds on Facebook that summed this quote up perfectly. If you haven't read it - I highly recommend it. (Link here) Long story short, it's about a man, in his forties, who admits he let procrastination and money stop him from pursuing his passions and, twenty years later, he's finally realised how much he 'wasted his life.' I don't want to be like that.

There are so many unforeseen factors that can unfold which can change your life dramatically and, if they happened, all those problems that seemed like such a big deal (like money) suddenly wouldn't mean a thing. Like what would financial security mean if you were told you had a week to live? Nothing. So why should thinking about tomorrow affect what happens today? It shouldn't. Yet, it does, for me anyway. And, when I actually sit and think about it, I can't believe how ridiculous it is. Seriously? The only thing truly standing in the way of me 'living for the now', is me. 

Apologies for getting a bit deep and cliched on you all there but that's what blogs are for, right?

What do you think? Do you find it hard to live for the present or do you find it easy? 

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