Choose the Present Moment

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

Past, present, and future. Why not today, this second, this very moment? As people, we travel forward and back, constantly thinking about our future and our past. We think about what we could’ve done better in the past and what we want in the future. Every question we ask ourselves is based on past events and things to come in the future, but what do we want right now, this second, this very moment? Our judgment comes from the past to make our future better, but what about today? Can we enjoy a moment in life without thinking about what comes next? 

As a student, I constantly think about every test, homework, project, and grade I get. I ask myself what could I have done better to get a better grade, or I think about how much I struggled on that last test. But what about the new test I have today? I should focus on that… Right? I should be thinking about what I could do now for a better grade and how I will perform on my test today. I emphasize the “now” instead of the “could have.” The “now” keeps me in the moment and the “could have” takes you a few steps back and tends to make you think more negatively. 

From the very moment you step into high school, you get asked questions about college and what you want to do with your life. And how are we students supposed to think so far into the future? College? Jobs? Professions? What about just getting through high school first before knowing what you want to do? You are only a student, teenager, and in high school once in your life, so why not enjoy it before the next chapter of your life begins? 

Students have to live in the present moment and focus on what’s happening today instead of next week. A New York Times article asked us, “Do you prefer to dwell in the past, live in the present or dream of the future?” People often worry about the future and what will happen instead of enjoying the moment and letting life happen. Our brain  thinks of everything that could go wrong, creating a reality of the unknown and misguided information, when in the end everything turns out all right.