The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius explored the frailty of man in Meditations, '... if we live longer, there is no guarantee that our mind will likewise retain that power to comprehend and study the world which contributes to our experience of things divine and human... so we must have a sense of urgency, not only for the ever closer approach of death, but also because our comprehension of the world and our ability to pay proper attention will fade before we do.'
If we consider this in our daily life, many people 'do their time' in painful, stressful jobs with some expectation of a greater life in retirement, we miss the urgency of the present and the attention we should pay to it. If we always live for the future, when we retire, become rich, famous, or hit that big idea to really live life, it's as though we're waiting for future before we allow ourselves to start living.
These are the times when we launch into the 'if only I had' or 'If only I were' something or someone before we can be happy. The problem with the future is that it's not yet here and that we only have the present. And if we wait too long, we might miss our chance to really live. We may no longer have the youth, energy, vitality and ability to live in the moment as we do right now. Perhaps it's a reason why the most inspiring, talented, authentic and emotionally open people are those with terminal illnesses or disabilities, with finite dimensions on their lives, they are driven to make every single moment count.
One of the best techniques I've found for living in the moment, and living life right now, no matter what I'm doing is to think deeply and be mindful to each of my five senses. It's easy to fall into the trap of defining moments between scheduled 'events' as times to place your mind on cruise control, for example commuting, boring client meetings or talking to someone you dislike. Letting these times pass without thinking is a waste of your time, precisely because it is yours, it's your life, and we can only ever experience life in the present, everthing else is over or is yet to come. It's a powerful way to kick the habit of going 'through the motions', and it can bring a vivid experience to everything
Don't touch. Feel
Don't glimpse. See
Don't hear. Listen
Don't eat. Taste
Don't sniff. Inhale
Be curious, and make use of every thing you have. Now.
Image credit: Dominic's Pics