A lot of people I meet are time travellers. Some of them are stuck in the past. They go over and over something that happened in their past like a personal version of the movie Groundhog Day. I have been guilty of this sort of time travel myself over the years.
But here’s the thing – we cannot change the past.
Nothing you can do in your thoughts can change what happened. Maybe something bad happened to you. Or maybe you did something bad to someone else and deeply regret it. Or maybe you let your best opportunity in life pass you by.
It doesn’t matter what it was – you cannot change the past.
We can learn from the past and make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, but we cannot change the past.
Other people I meet travel into the future. They are always dreaming about a future that may or may not happen. What will so-and-so do? What if A, B or C happens?
There are some events in our life that we need to prepare for: a wedding, giving birth, travelling to a foreign country. We need to make some preparations for those sorts of events but we can’t live in the future.
The more we live in the past or the future in our heads, the more we miss the present moment.
The present moment is precious because we can choose the right thing today. We can help someone today. We can make a decision today. We can say No when we should say No, instead of saying Yes and regretting it later.
We can enjoy the present moment. We can feel real life today.
The more we travel, in our minds, to the past or the future, the more our real life – the present moment – slips through our hands.
When we are in a time of crisis, it is always tempting to fast-forward to the future to see how a stressful situation is resolved, or to rewind in our minds to see if there was something we could have done differently to avoid this situation. But the past cannot be changed and the future never plays out how we think it will.
Humans have a tendency to imagine the worst-case scenario but life rarely works out that bad.
Living in the Now of life takes skill. We must exercise control over our mind and emotions. But Now is all we really have.
How can you make your Now better today? Choose something that infuses you with life.
‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’