Worry does nothing but steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.
I’ve always worried about everything. I don’t know exactly when being caught up with the future became a natural state for me, but eventually it did. Every now and then I found myself living in the past, wondering how things would’ve been if I would have made different choices.
When I did something I enjoyed or was with someone important to me I was always afraid of how I would feel when things came to an end. I was never truly present, and thinking about what might happen in the future consumed my energy and sucked the joy out of each moment. I wasn’t able to appreciate my everyday life.
It took some time for me to understand where the key to happiness lies, and how wrong my future-centered thinking habits were. It’s definitely worth not worrying or dreaming about the future and just living for the moment, because only in the present will you find pure joy and fulfillment, free from fear.
Why do I believe enjoying each moment is a learnable skill and the most required to get what you want in life?
1. The future doesn’t exist
Everyone wants to be happy, but no matter how many people you ask what happiness really means, you’ll get just as many different definitions,
Many of us, including me in a not too distant past think: “one day when this and that happens, I will finally be happy”, like happiness lies only in the future.
When you are here but prefer to be there the present shrinks into just a rung of a ladder reaching upward to achieve something more. You forget to live.
In our imagination the future is always different – at its worst it can make you worry but it can also get you fired up. Both states are just a product of your imagination; they don’t really exist and can only bring fear or disappointment. These thoughts can cause us to get worked up and upset.
In fact, we are complete, and all we need and can have in life is in the here and now, because nothing else really exists.
2. What we worry about probably won’t happen
I realize that most of the things I worried about rarely actually happened. And if they did the outcome was usually positive or wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d imagined. Worrying is just an unnecessary habit which only drains your life energy.
You should make separate realistic plans of how to get what you want, including potential risks, to avoid irrational worrying. To achieve your goals you need to realistically measure your potential, taking into account any setbacks that may occur. However, being prepared for what might happen and constructive worry are two different things.
When you start worrying, ask yourself a few questions: Is it actually possible for the worst-case scenario to happen? If yes, is it really life-threatening? What am I missing in the present moment?
You’ll probably realize that NOW you don’t need more than what you have. In the present, there isn’t any time, so there are no problems. Don’t let your mind tell you any different.
Focus on what you HAVE, instead of focusing on what you think is missing.
3. If you can’t appreciate now you won’t appreciate tomorrow
If you won’t learn to be happy now, you’ll be unhappy in the future. Thinking about the future (or for some people: about the past) is a hard habit to break. Without working on self-development you may struggle to achieve happiness, even if you get what you think you want out of life.
When you worry about the future you withdraw from all of the great things around you. When your mind is somewhere else and your brain is full of negative thoughts, you aren’t able to appreciate the beauty of simple things, the importance of conversing with another person and the miracle of being alive.
4. With a free mind you make better decisions
When you live in the present moment you can listen deeper to your inner self. Your mind becomes clear and you can focus on solutions much better than when your brained is clouded by fear. You can focus on the life situations and issues you currently face the way they really are, not on potential scenarios that might happen.
We don’t need to worry about avoiding bad things. Most problems only require common sense, and other problems that we have no influence over aren’t worth worrying about anyway. The more energy you save giving your mind a rest, the better outcome you’ll have if one of those bad scenarios really comes true.
5. Your mind eats what you’ve cooked for it
Your inner world can be tumultuous, but it’s up to you to control the storm. Thai people call it mind cooking, which means that every thought you have is an ingredient for your mind. Every single thought you have has an impact on you and the world around you!
When you worry about the future you create bad energy, which influences you and the people around you, putting everybody in a sullen mood. They say “merry go lucky” for a reason; happy people seem to have more luck. Worrying has the opposite effect; by creating bad scenarios in your head, you attract bad things to you.
Enjoying every single moment is learnable skill. But just like riding a bike or playing piano it requires practice. Try not thinking about your past of future for a day. Simply observe things around you. Look at everything, including nature’s greatest wonder: your own mind.