Self Advice…

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I have heard this so many times, all over the place, all over the media, in so many books, and from so many people. “Live in present”, forget the past, don’t worry about the future, just live in the present.
This sounds so tempting and obviously correct, why should one try to remember the bad past, or even the good memories when you know thats gone, it cant happen again?, why should one worry about the future, when there are so many uncertainties out of your control. We all want to do this don’t we?, don’t care about the future, forget the past, live in the present.

Lets consider our work, lets say I have a very troubled work relationship with my company or my boss, and suddenly I am given an opportunity to join another firm, now the new job pays me less, so should I forget the past and just see that I will make more money by staying in this job?. Forget about the past just consider the current pay and stay with the company and enjoy the present?.
Assume I am bored at work, and even though I have a high paying secure job, which I am sure will pay for my bread for a long time, should I get tempted to join a better paying firm which does not have a good future? or uncertain one?. Anyways I would enjoy the huge jump in current pay, will love the present, so does it mean stop worrying about the future?.

Lets consider relationships, when you are amidst a good relationship don’t you want to carry the learnings from the past?, don’t you want to make sure you don’t commit the same mistake again?, or would you like to just let the things be and let it go the way it chooses to?.
Don’t you want to see where the relationship is headed to?, will this relationship matter to you after say a month or so, don’t you want answers to such questions?.
Or one should forget about your as well as the other person’s past and enjoy your present?, don’t care if you see some dangerous signs from other’s past? or for that matter from yours?.
don’t worry about what it would end up in, enjoy something which is really beautiful now?

I guess I took couple of extreme examples, lets take something like a holiday. We all get vacation, may be a national holiday. What should one do on these holidays for fun?.
The last holiday of yours ended up a disaster because you didn’t get tickets to the show you wanted, so should one plan ahead and book tickets this time around, so that you do not end up like last time. [thought of both past and future here]
Or one should just turn up at the show, so what if no tickets, try to see what else can be done, plan it on the fly, take the day the way it takes you, giving to the present, just enjoy the day as it comes.

Somehow I feel I haven’t taken this in the right stride, its not about future planning, or even memories or learnings from the past, its just about enjoying the present to the fullest, you take your learnings and also plan your future, and finally when we decide to do something, when you are going through with it, that time don’t think about anything else but that particular thing. Enjoy it to the maximum. Standby your own decision and enjoy the present.

When you decide to stay at the job, may be whatever is the reason for it, enjoy it, don’t crib about the boss, volume of work, or the quality of work, just enjoy it. You can think about the rest later. Same with respect to a relationship, when you are in a particular relationship, at a particular stage, why not enjoy it fully, then when you really have to decide if it is good or bad, think about it then, and enjoy the decision making too.
So coming back to the holiday plans, when you have booked the tickets and end up in the show, enjoy the show, why worry about what if you have not booked and stuff. so If you dont get the tickets then forget it, whatever next you decide to do, enjoy that as well.

I know its easier said than done, in fact I have never been able to achieve this , so in a sort of way this is me giving advice to myself. A kind of self advice.

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5 responses »

  1. OMG! Your movie list,booklist and your music list is exactly what i like!! I loved etrnal sunshine of the spotless mind.Also loved all the books u listed.
    As regards this post–“forget the past or future” is not meant to be taken that literally.Right now I am reading Eckhart Tolle (Power of now) Actaully i am reading it very reluctantly as it was a birthday gift, and on my own i would have bought it.But hey–he does have something in it–particularly when he talks about ‘pain.’
    Read it if you can.

  2. I really don’t like that saying because you have to depend on both the past and the future; at least a little bit. It’s not possible to just live in the here and now, to do so, nothing will ever go forward in your life. Nothing will ever be learned by your past. It’s best to have your past, your present and your future well in your mind and use all three equally to live.

  3. i like to think im that way. that i dont think too much about the past or into the future. just live each day by day.

    but then i’d be lying. it’s hard that way. i tried but then i worry too much. i always think about the consequences. which isnt always a good thing because most the time i end up not doing what i intend to do.

    im slowly learning to be more flexible now though.

  4. @Ps.
    now thats surprising :), not many like the things which I do,
    oh thats a classic for me and so is before sunset.
    I guess I will try to get this book. do you use shelfari?
    thanks for the book suggestion
    and of course thanks for stopping by.

    @Silver.
    Silver exactly my view for long, you can never isolate “now”,
    but then when you determine what we need to do, why not enjoy it fully without worrying.

    @Jos,
    again same here, I want to be like that “Wild” carefree but man I have issues doing that.

  5. I feel like you’re missing the fundamental point behind the idea of living in the now. Don’t dwell in the past. Don’t let the past control you. Don’t be so concerned about the future that you live your life unaware of the beauty of things around you presently.

    Of course it is absurd to live your life oblivious to the possible ramifications of your actions and it is equally ignorant to ignore history’s lessons. But I feel like your straight and narrow interpretation of “living in the now” is purposely argumentative. No one can live exclusively in the present, not unless they have no imagination and no memory, but I say again, the idea behind the saying is not to dwell on what has passed or to eternally worry yourself about what is to come.

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