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Choose to Treasure Every Moment

It’s easy to get caught up in today’s hustle culture. There are always things to do, boxes to tick, arbitrary deadlines to meet, and bucket lists to make. But is this how you should be spending your time?

Most of us are familiar with the “always prepared” mentality. We’ve been told all our lives that what we do now should always be in service of a better future.

“Study hard to get good grades – it will help you when you’re applying to college.”

“Pick something useful to study, like law or business. That’s the only way you’ll be able to afford the perfect life.”

“Start thinking about finding the right partner now if you don’t want to be too old on your wedding day.”

“Don’t go on that holiday. Save up all your money instead to buy a house one day.”

While advice like this often comes from a good place, it isn’t always right. Of course, having a good degree and some money set aside can be nice. But sometimes, the price we pay to get there might just be a bit too high.

Yes, it’s important to think about your future. Being prepared isn’t a bad thing. But if you let it go too far, you might find that you’ve been living your life overly focused on the future. In the meantime, you’ve somehow forgotten about the present altogether.

Take this quote by the Japanese manga artist Ichigo Takano: “Every life is precious. Please treasure each and every day, the present, the moment, and yourself.”

There is a point to what she is saying here. Life is precious. Life is now. Preparing for the future isn’t wrong, but it shouldn’t keep us from cherishing the present moment. It shouldn’t keep us from experiencing life.

We often hear people talk about how we shouldn’t be stuck in the past and how important it is to move on. So, why do we rarely talk about how being stuck in the future is just more of the same thing? In both cases, we are completely missing the point of life – which is to live. Right here, right now.

Life is a wonderful and mysterious thing, and if we waste it on what-ifs and maybes, we might grow to regret it once most of it has passed.

Life is happening right now. It might or might not be here later, too, but it’s definitely here now. So, don’t let it pass you by. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Treasure every single moment you get to experience the wondrous gift of existence.

You may now be thinking: But how do I do that? How can I stay grounded and treasure every moment?

While the answer might slightly differ from person to person, here are some things you can try to make sure you always appreciate what’s right in front of you:

Slow down and breathe

For once, stop running around frantically, looking for the next chore on your to-do list. Instead, try standing still. Stretch your legs, your fingers, your neck.

Then, try closing your eyes. Take a deep breath in, and then slowly breathe out. Do this three to five times. Feel your heartbeat slowing down; feel the calm washing over you.

Open your eyes. Do you feel better now? More grounded? More relaxed? Good. Now you can continue with what you were doing before. This time, though, try doing it slower. Put more intention behind every action. Savor the feeling of being alive.

Look around

Most of us have certain routines in our day-to-day life that we might not even be aware of. We brush our teeth the same way; we make the same cup of coffee every morning; we take the same route to work every day.

Often, we’re so used to what we know that we do all these actions on autopilot. Unfortunately, this leads to us ignoring our surroundings most of the time. Even if you are taking the scenic route to work, chances are that you’re not really paying attention to where you are anymore. You’re so used to it that you don’t even notice that there are new flowers in your neighbor’s front garden or that the leaves have started growing back again.

It’s a shame, really. You’re missing a lot of life this way. You wouldn’t want that, right?

Next time you take the same route to work, try looking around. Name three small details you can see – something you may not have noticed or appreciated before. Just doing that can help you stay more focused and enjoy what’s in front of you.

Smile

It’s been proved time and time again that the act of smiling can actually make you happy. When you’re happy, you’re more likely to enjoy things – including the present moment.

When you’re feeling particularly lost and stuck in a rut, try forcing yourself to smile. It might feel awkward at first, but sooner or later, you’ll start feeling the effects of the small action wash over you. Then you can approach every moment with just a little bit more appreciation.

Smell the air

It’s not just about looking around and seeing things that can make you feel more grounded in the present. Engage your other senses, too.

Next time you’re outside, take a deep breath. What can you smell? How would you describe it? How does it make you feel? Simple actions like these can make you feel more connected to the life that’s all around you.

Listen

Finally, take your headphones off for once. I know we all have new music to listen to and podcasts to catch up on, but sometimes, it’s good to let all that go. 

Instead of listening to that new Taylor Swift song, try listening to the sounds of nature or the city around you. Stop zoning out – tune in instead.

Life is what happens when you’re too busy making plans. So, stop making plans for once. Let go. Take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy each moment as it comes. You only get to live each second once, so make sure it’s a good one.

 

 

 

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