Friday, April 1, 2011

The Power of Now

One today is worth two tomorrows. Benjamin Franklin

We tend to ruminate about the past or worry about the future and find it hard to simply savor the present. Thus, the joy of life eludes us.  

If we postpone happiness for when we achieve this or do the other, it will never happen. The truth is that even achieving a much-desired goal, overcoming a huge problem will not guarantee eternal happiness. New challenges and conflicts will arise along the way.

Besides, with so many electronic gadgets – that are also very useful – it’s easy to get sidetracked and not focus on the here and now. For instance: it’s common to text and have a face-to-face conversation at the same time or check your e mail while watching TV. Or read while you grab a bite or update your Facebook page at the supermarket checkout line.

The brain benefits from moments of reflection. Although we can now optimize our time by reading the news on our smartphones in the waiting room of the doctor´s office, it´s also a good idea to embrace those moments and wait them out by being fully present.

I used to always listen to music or talk on the phone during my runs. Lately I´ve tried running while listening to the sounds of life or nature. Then I can meditate or use the time to reflect on my life or on the latest piece I´m writing. It´s not only relaxing, but allows the brain to rest from the constant input of modern life.

How do you take advantage of the present moment and live it in all its intensity? How could you eliminate distractions and take a break from your electronic gadgets that prevent you from being in the now?

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