Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Focus on the present, and life will take care of itself


Here's a question for you - why do so many people spend their free time watching TV?

Every day or evening families, loners, boys, girls, men, mothers and sisters sit down and watch hours and hours of it.

Box sets, films, Netflix, catch up, recordings, sports, drama, soaps...the opportunities for distraction are endless.

Why?

It would be easy to say TV is just that, a distraction, and it's true. It distracts us from the everyday, the humdrum, the boredom.

But it also has become a ritual, an intoxicating habit.

When did your life stop?

Of course, a little of anything is good for us: the odd drink, a night out, pizza - it makes us happy.

But take anything to excess, to prolong that fleeting pleasure and,
  1. it becomes harmful 
  2. it's not a pleasure any more. 
That's when it becomes a bad influence on you, and that's where, say, more than 2 hours TV a night sits high on my list of unnecessary evils.

But it still begs the question - Why?

Focus on the Now

Whatever the reason, and I'm not a psychologist, I've got an antidote, and it works for me. Instead of sitting back and letting the distraction, in this case TV, wash over me, I focus on the moment instead.

That's right, I zone into the Now.

It's not a new thing, a modern trend or invention. It just works.

It's Eastern maybe, but it can be Western, and it involves thinking creatively.

Now I don't mean I pick up my brushes and paint a landscape. Or take up the guitar and write a song.

Although I could do any of those things, I just think actively about the present.

The present, to me, is the only place I should be living. The past is full of mistakes, good feelings, bad memories, regrets, highs and lows, whatever they are THEY ARE GONE.

That's right, the past is another city.

And the future, well THAT'S NOT EVEN HERE. In fact, my experience of the future is a place where whatever I imagine happening, rarely happens.

The future is something we worry about. That's what the future does to you. But the only place you can affect the future is now, in the present moment. So that's what I concentrate on, the Now.

Baby steps

Now is:
  • possibly the only reality
  • the place where everything is guaranteed to exist
  • where the past funnels into
  • where the future expands from
Simply put, it's where we should be concentrating our efforts.

But how?

Well, like anything, the truth is rather easy. Don't regret the past, feel guilty about things, dwell on words said or deeds enacted. Just look upon it as experience, learn from any errors, bask in any pleasures and MOVE ON.

Likewise with the future, and this is more difficult, DON'T FRET ABOUT EVENTS THAT HAVEN'T YET HAPPENED.

I know Einstein predicted that Space and Time are interlinked, that the future is different to different observers depending where they are and if they are on trains etc. but that's his problem. Yours is just to live as well as you can.

So, if you are not happy about things - your life, your job, your relationships - the future isn't where you are going to change that.

The only place you can change that is in the present moment, the now.

So switch off the TV.

Tell your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend you love them, and make them a cup of tea.

Do something RIGHT NOW that will positively affect the future - a phone call, a letter, email.

Or learn something, read a book, play the piano, do something creative. And by creative I don't mean create a work of earth-shatteringly genius, but instead book an on line course, or start a diary.

Don't just make plans, do something fine, something positive, something you've been putting off for years.

Be happy.


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