· By Case Kenny
How to be present
We owe it ourselves to be present in our life's experience as we live them - not in retrospect, not looking back and saying "those WERE good times, those WERE the days or that WAS such a special moment."
These ARE the good times, these ARE the days and these ARE the special moments.
How do we actually live this mindset?
Ask yourself this: What is something in your life that you want to go back and experience for the first time again?
There’s something special about firsts in life. But we really only tend to realize this by looking back.
- "Those were the days. I was young and excited! Everything was fun and new."
- "It was cool to be in downtown Chicago for the first time - so beautiful, such a great city."
- "It was cool going to a concert or festival for the first time. Wow that was amazing."
We tend to ignore how special some of those experiences are. We need to live in the present. We don’t need to go back. We don’t need to continue moving the finish line forward.
We can make a decision that literally everything we do in the present we can approach it with the enthusiasm as if it’s a first.
Pretend you're living a "first" today.
Practically I’m just talking about being present.
I’m talking about enjoying life TODAY.
If we’re so hung up on the past as the time when things were good and if we’re so focused on doing things today so we can finally live the life we want in the future… we’re literally skipping over the present.
The past isn’t here with us anymore and the future hasn't happened yet... and we're giving all of our living energy to those things?!
Yes, it’s great to look back and learn from your past. Yes, it’s great to work to create the life you want in the future. But we need to carve out time today to be in today.
My reco? Approach things like you’re experiencing them for the first time.
Approach this day as a special time in your life. A Tuesday at 11am. A Friday out with friends. A coffee. A meal. Chipotle.
Pretend it's for the first time again...
And remember what it’s like to experience something for the first time KNOWING that in retrospect it’s a special moment. Be in the moment. Soak up the details. Be in it.
Treat today’s moments like the moments you look back on and say you’d love to them for the first time again.
Be in the moment. Listen to that song and just appreciate it. Taste the coffee. Shake their hands with enthusiasm. Make eye contact first.
Happiness isn’t in the past like we think - "oh I’m all washed up, I had a good life when I was young."
It’s not in the future associated with some far off finish line - "I can’t wait til things click and I’ve checked off my bucket list."
It’s today. What if you approached today as if it’s for the first time?