How often have I heard the well-intentioned advice, “Live in the moment.” Even Henry David Thoreau suggested, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” Yet, in spite of how long we’ve been encouraged to be ‘in the moment,’ that’s precisely where the greatest risk to our ability to reinvent ourselves lies. Staying in a zone of immovable “mindfulness” is precisely why so many people yearning for more in life continue to merely live in an ongoing state of complacency and habit without ever daring to step out of their comfort zone and explore future possibilities.
To merely ‘live’ in the moment means:
Wall Street investors would never buy stocks because they would have no interest in future return on investment.
Michelangelo would never be driven by the source of his greatest accomplishments: “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” He would simply leave the granite block sitting in the middle of his studio.
Songwriters would stop creating music because they would cease imagining the future pleasure their songs would give to others by sharing them.
Rebecca Webber’s Psychology Today article, Reinvent Yourself, contains invaluable reinvention wisdom: “Major life changes are never easy, because your instincts and the urgent matters of the day work against you. But when you learn to focus on your future self, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. “ It is only when we leave aside the preoccupations of the day and move on to the most important issue of living the life we imagine for ourselves that we move from the moment into a future of self-realization. Then, and only then, do moments have meaning and purpose as stepping stones to a life of true meaning.