The Mindset Of The Present

• Stay present. It’s something we hear frequently, but what does it mean? Simply put, we are more often caught in the past or looking forward to the future. When we are caught in the past, we are affected by things and events that we have no control over. When we are looking forward to the future (excessively, of course), we are also affected by that which we have no control over.

• Author Eckhart Tolle has great insight into the problem of fixating on the past or future; he once said, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

• To let go of the past is to forgive, excuse, and allow for errors. We can learn from the past, and we don’t have to experience things in vain. To stop fixating on the future is to accept uncertainty and a certain amount of randomness. We cannot control very much in our lives, and all we can control is our actions and reactions.

• Staying in the present is of course easier said than done, but the practice of meditation is a useful blueprint. It is important to clear your mind and simply lose yourself in a thought, feeling, or sensation. Preoccupation is the worst of sins here, and it can only be defeated with time and practice—and the knowledge that the past does not matter anymore and the future is out of our control.

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Peter Hollins is a bestselling author, human psychology researcher, and a dedicated student of the human condition.

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