I always find myself drifting off into the current situation, whatever that may be. Sometimes there are exciting, new things happening in my life (mostly starting a new semester, and yes, to me that is exciting). Other times, I find that I am unhappy and obsessed with a thought or an idea that is not bringing anything positive in my life, and it makes things worse for me on a daily basis. Why do we get so caught up in the present moment and forget all about the past and future? Now I know that many many many sources advise people to do this, “live in the present, forget the past, don’t worry about the future”. But is this healthy?
I often find myself glancing down at whatever paper I am writing at that time, and sometimes I wonder if it was me writing it. Why? Because it doesn’t sound like me. It’s as if an automatic pilot wrote this paper in the absence of my consciousness. I often don’t even care to proofread, because I know that at the time of writing it, I did it to the best of my abilities. Or maybe I just don’t want to proofread it, because it becomes boring. How is this possible? How can something that I wrote and had a keen interest one, can become boring?
I believe the answer is because my mind is already on another project, on another paper, or plan of whatever, wherever, whenever. Just not in the present tense, because the present (now) was already a future for something else. The problem is that we get so caught up in doing something, that we forget why we do it, and most importantly, how much we enjoy it. By always trying to move on to the next task, the next plan, the next to-do list, we forget to enjoy the moment and take it back to basics.
Back to basics simply means “what was the initial motivation for doing this task/to-do list/whatever-else-you-planned-on-doing”? That is the question. I remember working in a group project and we had a girl who was a true team leader in every way, and she guided us through like a champ. While the 3 of us would get all riled up over small details and planning things that turned out not to matter in the end, she always said this “Guys, let’s take it back to basics”. In marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and instead of identifying one need for a company, you end up identifying six. In personal life, we often do the same thing. In our fitness goals, the same thing. We get so caught up in the small details along the way, that we forget the real motive why we started on whatever journey we started on.
So next time you start a new exercise program, get a new job, start a project, sign up for a marathon, take a cooking class, etc., remember the basic reason why you started it. If it is a personal goal, most likely you started it because you wanted to achieve more and challenge yourself. So remember those reasons, because they will come in handy when you get yourself caught up in the moment once again.