Last month, I was preparing my public speaking speech at the conference. It was stressful and I could not sleep well, because I was imagining how things could go wrong as I forgot about my speech.
The way I overcome the worries is to focus on the present moment, and live in the moment. It was a waste of energy, mental distress to worry about things that have not to happen tomorrow. I make effort to prepare for tomorrow presentation, but the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is not to worry. Instead, I should concentrate with all my intelligence, all my enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way I can prepare for the future.
Remember that prayers ask only for today’s bread. It doesn’t complain about the stale bread we had to eat yesterday, and it does not say how will I get breast to eat next fall, or suppose I lose my job, how could I get bread then? No, prayer teaches us to ask for today’s bread only. Today’s bread is the only kind of bread you can eat.
My troubles to prepare my presentation was only mental. I want to think of my life as an hourglass. I know there are thousands of grains in the top of the hourglass, and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass.
When I start in the morning, there are hundreds of tasks that I feel that I must accomplish that day, but if I do not take them one at a time and let them pass through the day slowly and evenly, as do the grains of sand passing through the narrow neck of the hourglass, then I am bound to break my own physical and mental structure.
To better prepare my presentation, I shall forget about the burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows. I could have a more happy and useful life, if I could have no anxiety about tomorrow and live in today compartments, isolated from the past and future.
I am living in the moment, standing this very second at the meeting place of two eternities, the history that I could not change in the past, and the future I could not predict accurately. I could not possibly live in either of those eternities, not even for one split second. So I should focus on the only time I can live, which is now. I can carry my burden for one day, no matter how hard or sweet it is, till the sun goes down. Tomorrow will be a completely new day.
Life is slipping away with incredible speed. I am racing through space at the rate of every second. Today is my most precious possession. The present is all I possess. No one ever loses a life other than the one they are living. No one ever lives a life other than the only one they are losing.
The longest and the shortest life, then amount to the same, for the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possess. No one can lose either the past or the future. Our only sure possession is the moment we are living now. Therefore, if I want to avoid worry, live in the moment and do not worry about the future. Just live each day until bedtime.
Focus, time and money are our three most important resources. Time today is the most valuable of these three resources and the most crucial to my success and well-being. My worry about tomorrow speech would not help me to get better performance. Instead, it does more harm than good. It made me with terrible sleep thus not enough rest to think on stage.
If every day I could optimise and focus on today, then across my entire life, I shall have a better result, instead of wasting my productivity to regret about the past and worry about the future. The only moment I could change is now.
In more general terms, living in the moment helps with higher levels of life satisfaction, personal growth, positive social relationships and self-acceptance in life. Trust my thoughts and feelings at this particular moment as well as a sense of self.
I could also overcome my imposter syndrome and story worrying about the feeling of a phoney. I would feel less fraudulent and more likely to engage in strategy on how I can do better now. It protects me from vulnerability as I could not change the past nor control the future.
By adjusting the expectations, I would not feel as intensely ashamed if I do fail given that I tried my best at this particular moment. I should stop my defence mechanisms with unrealisitcs fantasies, projecting responsibility onto others, because I am responsible for the moment I am living now.
I could worry less about what everyone thinks of me in the future, taking more risks even if there is a possibility to make me look bad, and testing what I could do at this moment. Maybe if I test my self-beliefs and I could be shocked to discover just how accepting others are of my imperfections. Maybe I would find that being more vulnerable and authentic at this moment with others increases social connection in the future. Since none of us is perfect, we tend to feel more comfortable with others who express our common humanity, including acknowledging human imperfections rather than with those who always seem to have it all together.
Living in the moment prevents me from overreacts to the social protection system. I would worry less about what everyone thinks of me in the past, or only what particular people think of me in the future. I could value the moment now with the honest feedback of those who truly respect me and whom I respect.
Living in the moment can be immensely helpful in learning to regulate the intense feelings of rejection and shame, I often feel and the irrational negative thoughts that are floating around constantly in my head.
Originally published at http://victorleungtw.com on June 20, 2021.