Live in the Moment: What Does That Mean?
I am a firm believer in living life, that there is a huge difference between living and simply existing. There are many reasons to live in the moment, but first it's important to note that even that term doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. For me living life in the present is part of living life to the fullest. The two aren't exact synonyms, but they are closely related.
You can't live life to the fullest if you don't even know how to slow down and live in the moment. For some people living in the moment means just slowing down and pacing through the day with more deliberation. Others believe living in the moment automatically means looking for a little adventure, a little something extra to make that day a little different and more distinct than a normal run through the schedule day.
Learning to live in the moment can mean getting up early to enjoy the beauty of an early sunrise, going for a hike instead of watching TV, or picking up a hobby that destroys any trace of boredom . . . or maybe it's time for a long adventurous vacation.
There are many reasons to enjoy life, many adventures both big and small to embrace. But part of being able to enjoy life to its fullest is to master the skill of Goal Setting, and then live life chasing and accomplishing those goals/dreams!
Photos of Living Life in the Present
Live in the Moment: Resources to Live Life Fully
5 Reasons to Live in the Moment
5 Reasons to Live for the Moment
No matter what the specifics of your definition, the majority of people seem to agree that living life over just existing and living for the present moment are good things. I would be with that group. So the following is a list of ten reasons why you should live for the moment instead of doing what everyone else tells you you're supposed to be doing.
Reason #1: You'll get outside a lot more often. Many of the little joys in life come from being outside. A nice cool breeze, the beginning of a good snow, laughing and dancing in the rain, swimming, walking, hiking, running into new people to chat with, exploring a new hiking trail or neighborhood: these are all the little joys that nearly 99% of the world (or at least America) misses on a day to day basis.
Reason #2: You won't be a tool. Sad fact of the world: for every person there to encourage you living a happy and unconventional life, there will be a minimum of one hundred who will do everything to blow out your candle so you look cold and depressed like them. Well over half the population is almost always unhappy, and this is in normal non economic hardship times and we don't even live in a country with drought, poverty, and civil war. So why do what everyone else is doing when it's obviously not working?
Reason #3: Because you only get one. Apologies to any devout Hindus out there, but even if you are a devout Hindu, this still applies. You have one life in this world at this time as you are now in your current environment. So enjoy it, and enjoy the little things out of every day.
Reason #4: It's either live in the moment or be miserable. Would you really RATHER be depressed than enjoying life? If so, then I guess you should go down to the comments section and leave an angry message. Otherwise learn how to live in the moment so you can enjoy the present time. Happy vs. Miserable shouldn't be any competition.
Reason #5: You become a joy to others. Sometimes the smallest thing can be an absolute linch pin. I was once told by a friend (we became friends after this incident) that she was incredibly depressed and was seriously thinking about suicide when she looked up and there was a big, hairy, kind of scary looking fat guy (this would be me) who gave her a huge smile, and asked "How ya' doing?" She stopped when she realized I actually cared, we chatted extremely briefly, and she walked off. It was enough for her to re-gain perspective, and the next day at lunch she introduced herself and we became good friends.
This is an extreme example, but how often has a smile, a random hello, or some small act of kindness turned your day from complete crap to something that seemed not so bad, or dare you admit it, even good? Well if you're living live fully and always aware and living in the moment, then you're likely to become one of these people for dozens, maybe hundreds of people: a random stranger who made their day, and therefore their lives, just a little bit better.
5 More Reasons to Live in the Present Moment
Reason #6: There's a Big, BIG, world out there. There's an amazing world out there full of amazing people and adventures just waiting to happen. And you're going to watch TV, DVDs, and play video games or sit around bored? Really? Don't be that guy. Or gal. Just don't.
Reason #7: Backpackers don't get fat. You feel better about yourself, and have better emotional stability and hormonal stability when you're in good shape. Backpackers and people who are active outside are far less likely to be out of shape, and they're going to be in better shape than they otherwise would be. So get outside and live in the moment.
Reason #8: Meet more interesting people. Well first of all you'll meet people outside of work and your area of living. Interesting people tend to get out and do things. Doing things is good. So just live in the moment and go meet some other interesting people who also know how to live in the moment.
Reason #9: In the end, you have to be responsible. If you're life is miserable and lonely and wasted and boring, there's one person and only one person to blame for that. I'm not saying life doesn't have it's really really crappy moments, but if you don't like where your life is, you need to make the changes. Although it is partially based around business and entrepreneurship, read Timothy Ferriss's "4 Hour Work Week" to get an idea of why you have no excuse to let life waste away. You don't get a redo at age 60 because you're unhappy that you've never done anything.
Reason #10: Do it for yourself. If you live in the moment, you are more likely to be a more complete and full person with a great and happy life and many wonderful stories to tell. In the end, the only real measure of wealth is how you have lived, because that can never be taken away. So learn to live in the present moment for yourself. You'll be a better person because of it.
Switchfoot, Meant for So Much More
Live in the Moment Quotes & How to Live in the Moment
The proper function of man is to live - not to exist. Jack London
I have come so that you may have life, and have life abundantly. Jesus Christ
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean
Make your life itself a creative work of art. Mike Ray, The Highest Goal
You can't behave in a calm, rational manner. You've got to be out there on the lunatic fringe. Jack Welch, retired CEO, GE
We have a "strategic" plan. It's called doing things. Herb Kelleher, founder, Southwest Airlines
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. Oscar Wilde
I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying. "Red," played by Morgan Freeman from The Shawshank Redemption
A year from now you may wish you had started today. Karen Lamb
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michelangelo
"A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books."
"And your very flesh shall be a great poem."
"Every moment of light and dark is a miracle."
"If you done it, it ain't bragging."
"Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle."
"The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on themselves."
"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle."
Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.
One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal.
Lose Yourself (In the Moment) by Eminem
But Isn't Money an Issue?
This can be a sticky question, and it's a little bit tricky because to some extent, yes. It's a lot harder to live life full if you're making $9,000 a year as opposed to $39,000 a year. That said, many people waste income on things that don't really bring joy (read 3 daily sodas and a twix) as opposed to going hiking, saving for a small adventure or the gate fee for a barbecue competition. If you're talking about wanting to develop a full time passive income that gives you both the money and the free time to travel the world, spend weeks camping, or doing whatever you see as the ideal life if time, job, and responsibilities aren't an issue.
Final Thoughts on Why to Live Each Day to its Fullest
If life is not a gift, it should be. And I realize there are horrible things going on in the world and I'm all for helping our fellow man: but acting arrogantly because you donated a pittance of money to charity doesn't make you better than anyone else. Likewise, how does cutting down everyone talking about living in the moment and living a better, freer life by reminding them of the starving kids in war torn Africa actually help the starving kids in war torn Africa?
Yeah, sometimes the world sucks, but being miserable for your seventy to ninety years on this Earth doesn't make you happy, it doesn't solve the problem, and it doesn't make the world a better place. If you're so concerned about that type of thing and spit venom against anyone who preaches living life to its fullest, then do what should make you happy: pick up and move yourself into a place where you actually can help a situation.
If your definition of living it up is moving to Africa or Asia and being career Peace Corps, that's great, GO FOR IT!! But don't judge or lecture those of us (like some crazy young writers still a long stone's throw even from age 30) who like to vagabond for months at a time and go out on the town on weekends.
Living life to the fullest is going to have different meanings for all of us, and we don't have any right to judge someone else. Otherwise you're just another Bill Lumberg. You don't want to be Bill Lumberg, do you? Because, okay, only he would think that would be great.
Living in the Present Links
- Developing "Personal Moment Awareness"
An article from Oprah.com about understanding how to live more in the present to get the most out of life.
- Extisential Arguments for Living in the Moment
Blog on Plato-like extisential philosophy about how to live in the present moment.
- Learn to Live in the Moment
Learning to actually live in the moment can be the hardest part.
- The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
This website is by Timothy Ferris, whose book has helped many to learn to live life and given them the means to do so.
- Rolf Potts: Vagabonding
For many, a life of constant travel is living in the moment and a life well lived.
- 39 Ways to Live in the Moment
This article has the right idea: living and existing are not the same thing. Living is worth it. Just existing is a shame.
© 2008 Shane Dayton