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The Strength of Living in the Present

Give yourself this gift

By Sharon S. Esonis, Ph.D.
Date: 02/14/2013

"Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived."
Captain Jean-Luc-Picard in the film, Star Trek: Generations

It's a crazy and hectic world in which we live! Time often rules over us like a malevolent dictator; we watch the clock, we try to beat the clock and, of course, we often lose to the clock. We live by calendars, appointment books, computers and palm pilots. Life seems sometimes more about putting out fires than anything else. We often reside in an environment of rigid expectations and shoulds, dictated by others and by ourselves. In our inner world, we shift from past pain to present distress to future trepidation.

The notion of focusing on the moment may sound like a preposterous recommendation in this hurried existence. The way things are arranged, were generally not encouraged to behold and smell the proverbial roses. In fact, if we were so encouraged, a lot of us would be clueless as to how to go about such a foreign endeavor. But take heart, its not as difficult as you might think to make changes and the rewards are bountiful!

Learning to live in the moment is a potent tool in your repertoire of effective living skills. Changing your focus to the present offers an array of gifts because the present is such a special place to be. Its where robust and satisfying relationships are nourished and where better communication and active listening take place.

The present is where happiness can be found and where laughter, play and excitement flourish. Its where we find out who we are, what we think and what we want. Its where creativity takes place and performance excellence manifests itself.

The present is where adversities and challenges faced head on teach us strength and mastery. Its where we discover that we can be subjected to pain and suffering, and yet endure, even thrive. Its where persistence and intelligent decision-making become the norm and where problems are solved, learning takes place and memory is enhanced. Its where we can have sensory experiences of a thousand kinds. Its where we have the power to promote physical and mental well-being, even when the body and mind have been plagued by illness. Its where we engender hope and aspire to fulfill dreams for the future.

Living in the present is a choice. We get to choose where our attention is directed the past, the present or the future, and we get to decide what we tune into on those channels. We have all the wiring we need to direct the focus of our attention.

My theory is that when deciding where ones attention should go, a 10-80-10 split is a healthy guideline: 10 percent on the past, 80 percent on the present, and 10 percent on the future. You also get to choose what you focus on in those domains. And the choice of focus is critical to how well this time is used. For example, when thinking about the past, you can choose to focus either on negative meanderings that depress you or on uplifting memories that bring inspiration and warmth. This seems to be a no-brainer to me!

A sure way to learn to live in the present is to believe the following:

  • It is only in the present moment that you can discern what is really happening
  • The moment is to be appreciated, not judged
  • You have a choice about where your attention is directed
  • You do not have to be a slave to past, present or future negative thoughts
  • The power belongs to you
  • It is important to have compassion for yourself and others
  • You do not have to believe what your thoughts tell you or react to them

If youd like more in-depth information on how to Live in the Present, Click Here.

If youd like to discover your own Positive Path, one that can lead to a life of fulfillment and ultimate personal power, contact Sharon Esonis at (760) 221-8032, or send an email to