Don’t Let It Pass You By: The Importance Of Living In The Moment

Don’t Let It Pass You By: The Importance Of Living In The Moment
Paul Hudson from elitedaily

How often do you get a chance to enjoy a cocktail? The answer is most likely: pretty often. However, the last time that you ordered that Bacardi and coke — a spirit that emphasizes the essence of being untamable — you most likely chugged it down without ever really tasting it, without actually enjoying it.

This is the way that most people live their lives. It’s not simply failing to take the time to enjoy every sip of your Bacardi rum, it’s failing to enjoy and to taste the moment that you are living in. Just as you need to slow down to get the full experience of the rum that has an history dating all the way back to 1862, you need to slow down to enjoy the life that you are living. In order to be untamable to others, you have to be capable of taming yourself.

It’s surprising how difficult it is to bring about simplicity. Simplicity isn’t about stripping down as much as possible, but stripping down the excess that surrounds the essence of a thing — whether it be a work of art, a product, yourself or the moment. You crowd your lives with the mundane, common and trivial, yet you expect to find happiness. You believe that the more you acquire, the more you consume, the happier you will be.

This is the sort of nonsense that has made true happiness impossible for the masses and has simultaneously begun to destroy the planet that you live on. When you are unhappy, you don’t allow yourselves time to find what’s behind the sadness and unrest — you mask your pain with…stuff.

When you feel bad, you go buy something. Or go eat something. Or go do something — anything, as long as it distracts you from your reality. Such distractions only make the situation worse. Of course, distractions are sometimes needed when your emotions are at their most unstable. However, once the peak of your despair subsides, you cannot hold onto the habit of distracting yourself from the world.

This is how you go from casually sipping a neat glass of Bacardi rum to chugging straight from the bottle. A little bit of distraction can be a great thing from time to time, but eventually you will remove all the joy from your life and will no longer find life enticing.

The key is to separate what goes on in your mind from what goes on in the world around you. It’s where you place the focus, your attention, that makes all the difference in life. There are two basic areas that one can focus on. You can either focus on the world inside your head — your thoughts and reflection — or you can focus on the world around you.

The beauty of the mind is both its ability to function with complexity, reflecting on our thoughts and then even reflecting on the thoughts reflecting our thoughts, and its ability to adopt simplicity. The simplicity comes when we drag our attention away from ourselves and place it upon the world bustling outside of us.

The world outside of us is what makes life worth living. It is beautiful in a way that most don’t come to understand. As Descartes put it so many years ago: “I think, therefore I am.” You know that you exist because you can think. But how do you know that the world around you is not much more than a concoction of your mind?

The truth is that you don’t know — no one does. However, instead of exploring the unknown, you focus on the one thing you know to exist: yourself. By remaining in your head and choosing to allow the outside world to pass you by, you are giving up your chance to explore one of the greatest uncertainties known to man: the possibility that you are simply living in a dream-world.

But there’s more to the benefits of averting your attention to the outside world versus the world in your head. The memories that you form, which form the storyline of your life, are almost exclusively formed in the physical world and not by the workings of your mind. You don’t remember the thought process; you remember the memory of the physical event.

You don’t remember the process of thinking; you remember doing. In a way, our lives are only worth the memories we make along the way. One day we will want to look back and relive our lives — relive the “good-ole days.” If you continue to fail to live in the moment then looking back will only frighten you; you’ll realize that you were too busy thinking about your thoughts to enjoy the world and the people around you.

If you want to live in the moment then you need to focus on the details. Look at and experience your surroundings. Take in the scenery, the people, the things moving around you. Focus on how you physically feel in the skin that you are living in. Take in the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the sights and the way the wind feels against your skin and in your hair.

Feel the way your clothes sit upon your skin. Smell your lover’s hair. Take in the details and then dissect them. You’ll begin to find beauty in the simplest of places and will begin to appreciate the little things. This is the only way to live in the moment: to appreciate the moment.

If you don’t accept the moment for the current state of reality and explore it, then you’re allowing life to pass you by. Next time you see the sun, really see it. Next time you smell the ocean, really smell it. Next time you feel the wind, really feel it. Next time you take a sip of Bacardi, really taste it.

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~ by Douglas Park on November 29, 2013.

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