Embracing Life. Part III: Living in the Present.

If you read my two previous posts, you might know where I’m going with this. I touched on how being strictly past-oriented, or being strictly future-oriented can be harmful to one’s happiness. So, this leaves us to talk about what it means to live in the present.

Living in the present helps you to appreciate every day that God has given you. People who live in the present grab life by the horns and take control of their day to day situation. To me, living in the present means waking up and seeing the opportunities that are available to me each and every day. There is a sense of excitement in life when you realize that you have the power to make a difference right now at this very moment.

Now it may sound like I’m saying that the key to living a fulfilled life is to live day to day, only focused on your current situation. Some might think of the pleasure principle, which says you should only do things that make you feel good, or things that may seem immediately rewarding. This is not what I am saying at all.

I do believe that living in the present or embracing every day life is the the most important part of how to live fulfilled; however, this should be closely tied with remembering the past and looking to the future. Living in the present involves using knowledge and experience from your past to make decisions that ultimately will affect your future.

What I am trying to say is the idea of Embracing Life includes acknowledging your past, present, and future. It is a synthesis of the three. Of course, the only one that you can focus on and impact immediately is the present, but think about it, the past used to be the present; and soon the future will be your present. By living in the present, you can impact all three.

So where did all this come from about embracing life, living in the present, and not letting your past affect your attitude about the future? These ideas have been bouncing around my head for a few months now, but recently I was reading an article about the Minerva High School (my Alma Mater) football team’s first playoff win in school history. At one point in the game, a few things went wrong for Minerva, and it looked like the other team was gaining some momentum. During a time out, Minerva’s coach noticed some of his player crying.

“I saw tears in their eyes,” Soles said. “I told them to knock it off because we weren’t done yet. It was still early in the fourth quarter and we were going to get a stop and go score.”

It’s funny how a football game can be a microcosm for your life.

This is the kind of attitude that each of us need to live by. Stop crying about the mistakes you’ve made. The future has yet to be written. Your story is not over. What are you going to do to make it better? Start by realizing that each day is a gift. Now is your chance to turn it all around.

I know I haven’t mentioned God much in these posts, but Jesus’ message is similar to what I’ve been saying. Stop thinking that you can’t find favor with God because of what you have or haven’t done. Jesus took care of that. This is truly the Good News. You are already blessed, now start living like it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to answer how I’ve been responding to the question “So, how’s life?” This is a true story by the way, I didn’t just make it up for my blog. For me, the proper response has been:

“Every day is an adventure, more exciting than the last.”

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One Response to Embracing Life. Part III: Living in the Present.

  1. Victoria says:

    I like that: “your story is not over.”

    Great blog series, Jeb. Insightful.

    Also, I can attest to the fact that your response to the question is “Every day is an adventure, more exciting than the last,” because I asked you “how’s life?” not too long ago, and that was, indeed, your response.

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