Question: if I only live in the present moment then how can I dream about a better future for myself? You say live in the now but how do you set goals to work at when you’re living the way you’re talking about?
Tripping on Misunderstanding
Awesome question. Thanks so much. Clearly you’re really meditating on what you’re reading. Excellent. It is a subtle aspect to things that you’ve noticed but it is also fairly explainable.
Yes you want to live in the Present Moment but it is entirely acceptable to plan for future moments in the moment you are currently in. So planning can be a very conscious activity. But once your plan is set, forget about it. Because to reassess it with new information is one thing. But to just ruminate and worry about it is another thing altogether. So above all do not get attached to your plans. They are called plans for a reason. Maybe you’ll be able to realize those plans, maybe not. You’ll see when you get to the moments where your plan plays out.
Is this making sense? So you can go ahead and set a goal, but if you pay too much attention to the goal and not enough on the action of realizing it then you’re likely to come up short, and then you’ll really be especially hard on yourself because you thought the goal into such a big deal. But if you’re focused less on an outcome and more on simply paying exceptionally close attention as you move toward it, then no matter what context you are in you will act in the best way you know how. With awareness comes wisdom.
Okay so it’s: plan and prepare, live life fully, implement the plan at the specified time and date, respond to the real-world reactions, survive and live to do it all again. Easy.
You do have a future. But many things other than you will decide how that future is shaped. So plan for your part of it, but be ready for all kinds of changes and adjustments and even disruptions or disconnections. Because to plan for the future can be wise, but to spend too much time there is to leave the Present Moment unattended. And the Present Moment is where 100% of the actual decisions about your life take place, so if you’re not going to be aware of and consciously making your moment to moment life decisions, then what plans you have are meaningless because there’s no one present to execute them anyway.
In the end your life would be better with 100% presence and no plans than it would be if it had perfect plans and barely any presence. Plans are largely expressions of the ego’s desire to achieve. Presence is a spiritual state. Spend time with each accordingly.
Have a wonderful day.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.