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Thread: AIB Maister - Living In the Moment

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    AIB Maister - Living In the Moment

    Do you live in the now? Worry about the future? Dwell on the past? Is it possible for professional planners to embrace the now? What is the secret to enjoying today? This past year has been a wake-up call to me in many parts of my life. I've tried to be better about living in the moment and enjoying today, but I will admit that sometimes I get distracted by the future.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    paradox unchained

    I long for a past that likely wasn't real
    The present feels like quicksand due to an uncertain future
    The present is hinged to a past that won't free me
    The future is a vision in constant motion

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Do you live in the now? Worry about the future? Dwell on the past? Is it possible for professional planners to embrace the now? What is the secret to enjoying today? This past year has been a wake-up call to me in many parts of my life. I've tried to be better about living in the moment and enjoying today, but I will admit that sometimes I get distracted by the future.
    I plan for the future, but try very hard to live in the present. I think too many people worry about tomorrow, and forget about today. I think the Great Recession though has made most people worry about if they have a future that looks like what they want it to look like. Since the future for most equal retirement, it is a fair fear to have. My wife stresses about going to work on her days off. I always remind her that if she doesn't enjoy her day off, going to work is going to be so much worse.... if we don't enjoy our time now, we don't really respect what the future could bring.

    Personally, I like planning ahead, because I want to be proactive and be able to enjoy my future as much as I do my present (maybe even a bit more). Professionally, it is difficult to worry about anything but the day I am in, because they are long, and I have so much to do. I don't know about the enjoying the moment thing, when it comes to work though...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Living in the moment for me is a sort of spiritual practice. Left to my own devices, my natural tendency is to 'live in my head' and overly filter experience through the lense of thought. I suspect many others on this board suffer from the same affliction. It's easy to focus/overly limit one's awareness to one's thoughts. Don't get me wrong, it's a Good Thing to be able to plan, recollect, integrate experiences and knowlege in a meaningful way, but when we do this habitually to the exclusion of directly experiencing what's happening to us in the Now, we're forgetting to live life. Not to mention it can cause all sorts of grief when those thoughts turn to the morose and we habitually play those morose 'tapes' over and over in our heads - where one regrets the past and/or fears the future.

    Like I said on another thread, I'm getting better at it but I still have a long long way to go.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Living in the moment for me is a sort of spiritual practice. Left to my own devices, my natural tendency is to 'live in my head' and overly filter experience through the lense of thought. I suspect many others on this board suffer from the same affliction.
    Yep. Living in the moment is easier said than done.

    sha-la-la-la-la, live for today
    and don't worry 'bout tomorrow...

    Great song by the Grass Roots.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I plan for the future, but try very hard to live in the present. I think too many people worry about tomorrow, and forget about today. I think the Great Recession though has made most people worry about if they have a future that looks like what they want it to look like. Since the future for most equal retirement, it is a fair fear to have. My wife stresses about going to work on her days off. I always remind her that if she doesn't enjoy her day off, going to work is going to be so much worse.... if we don't enjoy our time now, we don't really respect what the future could bring.

    Personally, I like planning ahead, because I want to be proactive and be able to enjoy my future as much as I do my present (maybe even a bit more). Professionally, it is difficult to worry about anything but the day I am in, because they are long, and I have so much to do. I don't know about the enjoying the moment thing, when it comes to work though...
    I notice there is a fraction of the population that lives in the past. But in my view if you are a planner you have to plan for the future but live in the present. You cannot know the world otherwise, and you are permitting development or making plans, you must know the world.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'm pretty much in the moment during the day but it's either the past or the future that consumes me when I can't sleep.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #8
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Saturday my son and I spent most of the day together - just him and me. I was very much in the moment that day. It was great. Life is easy and oh so sweet on time like that.

    I dwell on the past. Think about what ifs too much.

    I don't give the future much consideration.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I have tomorrow off and so do my daughters. They're school is used as a polling place.

    I'm very excited to spend the day with just them since my wife will be working. I'll probably make them a hot breakfast. I need to help my 4th grader on a school project. I already told them we're going to a pizza buffet for lunch. Probably hit up a local park. I love those kind of days.

    Now that my girls are 9 and 6, I've started to miss the cute infant/toddler years. I sometimes wish I could hold them as infants again.

    One thing I have learned is that "living in the moment" doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be out and about doing something extraordinary. Sometimes living in the moment can be a Saturday afternoon cleaning the garage, while the kids are playing upstairs and the wife is reading. Those moments should be cherished, and I'm just now learning to cherish those times.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Saturday my son and I spent most of the day together - just him and me. I was very much in the moment that day. It was great. Life is easy and oh so sweet on time like that.
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post

    I'm very excited to spend the day with just them since my wife will be working. I'll probably make them a hot breakfast. I need to help my 4th grader on a school project. I already told them we're going to a pizza buffet for lunch. Probably hit up a local park. I love those kind of days.

    Now that my girls are 9 and 6, I've started to miss the cute infant/toddler years. I sometimes wish I could hold them as infants again.

    One thing I have learned is that "living in the moment" doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be out and about doing something extraordinary. Sometimes living in the moment can be a Saturday afternoon cleaning the garage, while the kids are playing upstairs and the wife is reading. Those moments should be cherished, and I'm just now learning to cherish those times.
    These posts remind me of what my dad always said: that "Quality Time" is a myth. What you guys are describing here is what he always said. "Give them quantity. Give them everything you can. Take them with you to the store, on errands, hanging around. They just want to be with you. "What" and "Where" matter much less than "With".

    Right on.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I realize every day I how lucky I am and just thankful to be alive. I have a new grandchild that I babysit while her parents are working and realize how precious life is. Yes I do plan for the future but I also am very lucky to have a lot of good memories of the places and the people where I have worked and lived. We are fortunate that Mrs Katt is working and we have medical insurance. Yes I do belong to Optimists International.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I live in the moment but also work to have a better future. If we do nothing more than what we have always done, we will always do the same thing, be the same person, and live the same life. For me, that is not acceptable. Our lives are like plants, we grow or we die.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #13
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    The living in the moment challenge is a real dance. Of course we can’t always be only present and not planning for the future or considering the past. But I think the trick is that when we aren’t planning (professionally or just what to have for dinner or what to do on the weekend) we should be striving to be present in the activity of the moment, whether being with our kids or washing the dishes. I try not to dwell on the past and what could have been but consider it for determining the way forward. Regret is a nasty thing. For me, anyway. Erodes my self-worth.

    I went through a kick in my mid-20s where I read a lot of Buddhist material. Thich Nhat Hanh and his writings about “mindfulness” were some of the most useful to me as far as how to apply these concepts to everyday living.

    I used to meditate though its been a while since I did that. With the advent of this thread, maybe I will start again. For me, it’s a way to quiet that mental chatter so I can be more present in my life. Running and biking get at similar states of mind for me, too, and I do a lot of that these days. Running is about how to still the mind while large blocks of time go by and fighting the desire to get all up in my head about things. Biking (mountain biking) is a different but complimentary experience for me. There is so much going on and that requires you to be present right here, right now there really isn’t any space for getting all would up about worries and regrets. Road biking is a bit more like running. Nothing but miles of pavement in front of you and no company but your own thoughts. I consider these activities to be part of my therapy…
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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