When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~unknown
All this month, we’ll be examining the keys to living in the present, that is keeping our minds focused on the here and now. Most of us ponder our past mistakes ad nauseam and worry so extensively about the future that we miss out on being present and engaged in the the only time we have – the present.
Action Principle #1: Simplify our lifestyles by not over-committing or being involved in an activity out of guilt, Christian duty, or obligation.
Somewhere along the way, we decided that being busy makes us feel important. From running the kids to after school activities to attending every church function, we equate busyness with accomplishment and even fulfilling a sense of Christian service. Yet, when our nerves are routinely frazzled from navigating this world in frenzied state, no room is left to experience the present because we’re always focused on the next thing. The stress of needing to do the undone overtakes our mind and leaves that gnawing anxiousness within the pit of our stomach.
Could I offer a simple yet potentially controversial principle? If you’re involved in any activity out of obligation, stop. Just stop. Now. We’re already over-committed, overworked, and overexerted. Why do we give up living in the moment because we’re stressed, fatigued, and unfulfilled? Why do we regularly forsake time that could be better spent investing in the lives of family and friends and pursuing our callings because we have to complete yet another task or attend one more pointless meeting?
Three Ways to Simplify:
1. Set Goals – Start with 3-5 goals you want to accomplish this year that align with your core values and personal mission.
2. Examine Time Allocation and Obligations – Does your current schedule match up with achieving those 3-5 goals? Are your obligations hindering you from doing what you want to do? Are you spending your time invested in something that matches up with your values?
3. Trim the Excess – Try getting rid of a least one activity, hobby, commitment, or role that doesn’t align with your goals and values. See how it feels to experience the reduced stress. Know that you may incur some guilt from others who seem disappointed in your decision, but stay the course.
By simplifying our world, we discover the peace and satisfaction from living in the present, and we open up room for God to utilize us for greater purposes because now, we have time to allow God in our life.
Other Related Posts – Living in the Present