Sadly, it occurred to me that many of us live our whole lives this way, either with one foot in the past hankering after youth, past loves, or living with regret and others many others living solely in the future; seeking new and better lives feeling than we get X, our lives will be complete, we can finally be happy. The only moment in time we have, is the one we are currently in. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not guaranteed, when we all know our lives can change in a heartbeat why do so many of us live in a different time zone and never really 'feel' or truly appreciate the present moment?
There's a vast difference between reminiscing and remembering good times and living in the past. When we reminisce, we remember people and good times, when we live in the past we are keeping our whole focus on 'better' times gone by. While this can happen to us all on occasion, continuing to live in a different time zone permanently will hamper your joy of life and that of those around you. When we are in this mode, we are lacking something in our current life and these tend to centre around our youth/health, fun, relationships, comfort, stability or acceptance. Ask yourself these 7 key questions if you tend to 'turn the clock back' on a regular basis:
Is there one particular time period from the past that you find yourself clinging onto?
What positive feelings does remembering that time/s stir in you?
Have you felt those feelings since those past times?
Do you consistently have those feelings in your life now?
What do you not currently have in your life that you would like more of?
Who or what in your current life could provide or recreate that feeling?
What do you have in your life currently that you no longer want?
Similarly, living only for the future does also not serve us either. We all know at least one person who will be happy when; they get that job, leave their partner, drop a dress size, have a nose job, - insert as necessary, the list is endless. According to the book 'Top Five Regrets of the Dying' by Bronnie Ware, number 1 is 'I wish I'd had the courage to be true to myself' and number 5 'I wish I had allowed myself to be happier'. As a coach and a human, I find that incredibly sad; whatever your religious beliefs or thoughts and hopes on reincarnation, we only get one shot at life with the body and mind we have today. I am also not suggesting that you throw all caution to the wind and only live for moment by putting your life savings on a 3-legged horse or drinking a bottle of vodka because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Our lives work in the best harmony when we have a healthy balance of appreciation for the past, living in the moment and considering our future selves and happiness with the decisions we make today. Today you make your future, today you write your history, make today count because your tomorrows will be more abundant.