Haven’t we all seen the quote that says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.”
It’s absolutely true – this moment is the only one we have. They say time is money – but I say time is more valuable than money. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. Once you spend it, it’s gone forever.
How can we make sure we’re living a fulfilling life in each moment? Here are some ideas to help you have a positive attitude about your time.
Don’t live in the past
We waste so much of our lives reliving the past. We all have regrets and moments of former glory. But we rob ourselves of the present by always wishing we could go back. If we’re constantly looking over our shoulder, we can’t enjoy what’s around us and we can’t look ahead at what’s coming.
I know a friend of a friend who’s always reliving his high school glory days. He talks about the wild times they had and the crazy stunts they pulled. It’s fun to hear about – but he doesn’t talk about much else. He doesn’t talk about the great things that are happening now or what he hopes to accomplish in the future. It’s like he hit the pause button on his life in high school, and that’s where he still is. While I’m glad he has some great memories, I wish he would focus on making more instead of reliving the same ones over and over.
Positive people don’t let their past keep them from achieving their future. Whether they had failures or victories, they let the past stay in the past. They don’t try to redo it or relive it. They don’t have a victim’s mentality about what others did to them, or how unfair life is. They don’t believe “the good old days” are as good as they’ll ever get. They believe the best of their past is the worst of their future.
We all have to make peace with our past, accept it, and move on with our lives.
Don’t live in the future
I encourage people to think about the future – to envision the life they want and pursue it. But some people are so wrapped up in tomorrow they forget about today. They worry about what might or might not happen. They’re in a hurry to get over the next bridge or get through a situation. They talk about what they’re going to do when they have enough money or the kids are grown or when they find the time. They try to live tomorrow, and completely miss enjoying today.
I used to have a coworker who was always on the verge of something great. Every time I saw him, he had a new business or was working on some mind-blowing opportunity. If we had lunch together, the whole conversation was about how things were looking up and how he was about to hit it big. He was an enthusiastic person to be around, but he never seemed to be celebrating anything happening right then. He always talked about what was going to happen.
We can’t enjoy the present if we’re always mentally in the future. Just as we can’t go back, we can’t go forward either.
Live in the present
The only time we have is right now. If we can’t enjoy this moment, we’ll never enjoy any of them.
There’s a fairytale about a man who received a magical spool of thread from a fairy. The fairy told him when he pulled the end of the thread, life would quickly go by. Thereafter, every time the man was faced with an unpleasant situation, he would unwind a little thread from the spool and time would leap forward.
When the babies were sick, he would pull the thread and it would magically be a few days later. When he lost his job, he pulled the thread and he was instantly further down the road of life and had found another job. When his marriage was suffering, he would whisk himself ahead in time so he wouldn’t have to deal with it.
After what seemed like just a few months, he found he had turned old and gray. When he looked back on his life, there weren’t any unpleasant times – but there wasn’t much else, either. By fast-forwarding through the less-than-perfect parts of his life, he missed nearly all of it.
Happiness isn’t having a perfect life. It’s choosing to have a positive attitude in spite of what happens. The important thing is to live in the here and now. We need to enjoy every moment as if it were the only one.
Right now is all we have. Enjoy it!
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe