Article in the Mindscape Section of the December 2015 Issue of Stayfit Magazine by Vinesh Sukumaran
We’re not left with too many options but to act right now. At this moment. This is true for the pursuit of wellbeing as much as it is for the pursuit of anything else in life. This includes taking any kind of action, making a decision, putting away a decision, planning for the future, being excited about your goals or even doing nothing at all. The point is that the only moment of power we have is the present. Right now.
Here are two typical behaviours that many folk demonstrate:
Living In The Past
I was recently called by a gentleman in his mid thirties, who wanted me to suggest a hypnotherapist to him. He was jumping from one health problem to another and suffered from a low self esteem as a result. He perpetually “felt sick” is what he called it. Now this gentleman was not too keen on fixing the problem. In my conversation with him, he told me that what he wanted to do was to go back into the past and find out why he is the way he is. As he innocently put it, “I want to find out exactly why I am like this”. So I asked him what he plans to do after he finds out, and he had nothing much to say. As if finding out the underlying reason would automatically sort everything out. So here is someone who lives, focusing on the past, wants to blame it and finally does nothing about it.
Postponing The Present
This is another classic behaviour that people demonstrate. The ones who almost live their entire lives chasing a dream, an ideal state of wellbeing or happiness of some form. The kind who say, “Once I’ve bought that villa, I’ll be happy”, “After I retire, I’ll enjoy life”, “After I get my children married, I’ll relax”, etc. I recently met a slightly overweight manager at an IT firm and we got down to discussing health and fitness as an important area for goal setting. He said he wants to become slim and run a marathon as well. So I asked him when he plans to start pursuing either or his goals. His response was, “As soon as I move out of this company”. And I realized that he’s been telling others and himself that story through his last five jobs. This is someone who literally teleports what he can do right now, into the future, by not taking action.
The Point Of Power Is The Present
Anything you ever want to change has to be leveraged from the present. In fact, the reasons why some of us don’t sit down and clarify our dreams or break them down into workable plans are exactly the same reasons why we don’t achieve them. If you are too lazy to sit and write down your dreams and set milestones, then your laziness might well prevent you from realizing those dreams. On the contrary, if you are too busy to take the time out to think about what you actually want in life, then you are very likely to not find the time to live into your dream life either. You get the point.
At the risk of sounding like a clichéd 21st century self help guru, I want to tell you this. If there is one thing and only one thing you need to do to step into a greater state of wellbeing or to live a better life, just go ahead and take that first step. Right now. Register for that fitness program, sign up for that marathon or do what you really want to do and experience that greater state of happiness.
You are better off taking that first step right now rather than psychoanalyzing the past or fantasizing about the future.