Trail Reflections

Live Intentionally. Become Fully Alive.

Living in the Present (Part 1) – Simplifying Our Lifestyles

Posted on January 5th, 2012 by Chris Peek

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

New Blog Series – Living in the Present

  • Anonymous

    Man this hits me so hard. The whole week from Monday to now, I have felt depressed, and anxious everyday. To the point where I couldn’t think. To the point where I did not want to do anything. It was crippling. I could not let go of my past week, and what was about to happen in the next three weeks. It was crazy. Today I live in the present, and the rest of the weekend I get to live on the hill snowboarding. So pumped!! Thanks. Jon T

    • http://www.trailreflections.com Chris Peek

      Jon, sorry to hear about your difficult week. Seriously, give me a call if you just need to talk to someone. I’ve been there before too, and that stuff will make you feel so low and prevent you from doing anything. I’ll quote our friend Chris Sutton from a recent blog comment – “The key is to be present on a continual moment to moment basis.” Hope you have a blast this weekend out in the snow!

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