I was reading a book called “The Cabin” that deals with a father who suffers a family tragedy, who then in search of answers meets three special beings that help him in that process of finding himself and reconciling with his past. In one part of the book, when Mack, the protagonist, was near a lake talking to one of the special beings, he asked the following question that I quote below:
But now tell me: where do you spend most of the time in your mind, in your imagination: in the present, the past or the future?
Mack thought for a moment before answering, “I suppose I would have to say that I spent very little time in the present. I spend a lot in the past, although almost all the remaining time I try to imagine the future.
–Like most people…
I felt particularly identified with Mack’s feeling. It made me think if my worries and expectations are due to the fact that, in my mind, I spend a lot of time in the past or the future. This made me reflect that I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Then it came to my mind, how different things would be if I focus more in the present?, if I trusted a little more in the future and… learned, but did not live in the past.
Mack was a very troubled man, whose sad past haunted him and did not let him find happiness. Thinking about his past and those things he could not change were the cause of a Great sadness. Besides this, the uncertainty of things to come did not allow him to enjoy the present as he could.
How many of us are in that situation? I personally find myself in that state many times and I know that you too. Have not you been thinking that many of the thoughts that cause anxiety, fear, stress and uncertainty can be caused by thinking about realities that have not happened and may not happen? I feel that living in the present, focusing on those things that we can actually manage, could help us to deal better with our lives and face the future with better foundations. Thinking less about tomorrow and solving the now can be much more effective and a better investment of our time.
Actually the future does not exist yet and we do not know if we will be there, however, we are at this moment, alive, in the present. There is so much in the present that requires our attention and dedication to waste time on things that we can not change or that have not happened.
I hope that the advice given to Mack to live in the present and have more confidence in the future will be of help to each one of us and allow us to have more fulfilling lives.