Posted on May 1st, 2006

All high achieving men and women live in the present. They know that their future is now. People who are the most successful in life know that the present is the only time they have control over.

One of the main reasons that most people do not achieve happiness and success is because they are constantly dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. When people are not living in the present they often have accidents, make mistakes, and perform sloppy or careless work.

It is common for people to leave the present and take a mental or emotional trip to the past or some imagined place in the future. This is often called daydreaming and it happens when you are not living in the present moment. You know the symptom, a vacant-eyed expression.

When someone is not living in the present moment, you cannot communicate with them. There is no one there to receive the communication. On their mental journey, the sound of your voice is nothing more than comforting background noise. This is the time when accidents, problems, errors, and sloppy work occur, when the person is not in the present moment.

If so many negative consequences result from not staying focused in the present moment, why do so many people live in the past or the future? I have found there are three main reasons why most people dwell on the past or worry about the future:

1. People have guilt about something they’ve done in the past and have an unwillingness to let go.

2. People are concerned or worried about a possible future outcome.

3. People have discomfort about some aspect of their present circumstance or situation.

Each reaction is useless and destructive in its own way. Feeling guilty accomplishes nothing. All it does is lower your self-esteem, and increase your level of anxiety and stress. Instead, you should learn the valuable lessons from your past mistakes and move on.

Worry about the future is equally as counterproductive. It does you no good to worry about an event that has not and may not ever occur. You should instead be planning for your future. When you apply knowledge from the past and take actions in the present you will create a positive outcome for the future and eliminate needless and unproductive worry.

Many people choose not live in the present so that they can avoid uncomfortable situations. If you’re not living in the present, you’re missing out on valuable learning opportunities. When you avoid taking personal responsibility for your role in the present, you are doomed to repeat your mistakes in future.

Every moment we live in the present is an opportunity to harvest the lessons from the past and plant new seeds for the future. By not living our lives in the present, we are actually rejecting the past instead of taking responsibility for it.

The only real time is now. The past is gone and the future is imagination. When you stay focused on what you are doing in the present you will notice a major increase in the quality of your life. When you are focused, you will also notice things you missed before; you will feel more alive and engaged.

Best of all, you will find that be living in the present moment, you will eliminate your discomfort with the present and redirect your emotional energy to the achievement of positive outcomes in the future.

Copyright©2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.

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