Inspired by a more recent conversation with my niece, “YOLO,” came out of her mouth before I even knew what the acronym meant. “You only live once, Uncle Bryant,” she said with a confident smile. And with that modernized intention, I started to have conversations with others as to what living meant in the past, present, and future. You’re supposed to “carpe diem,” right?!
We all dwell in the past because experiences mold how we view the world today. There is planning for the future; however, whether you choose to fear or accept the uncertainty of change is up to you. Given the general philosophies of being “present,” this is where the most churn is experienced.
What determines living presently? Is that through the joy, excitement, and fun of the moment or something else? I’ve had definitions from numerous people. Living presently is…
…keeping life exciting and fun
…travelling the world
…bringing awareness to your surroundings
…loving what you have
I don’t think any of them are incorrect, but I think what is missing is something more broad that could encompass them all. Living presently is acknowledging the moment in all its forms. This includes not just the positive moments we thrive on, but also the negative/neutral ones as life goes through its ebb and flows. It’s okay if things aren’t happy-go-lucky all the time. If things are sad, grieve; if things are happy, celebrate. But don’t get wrapped around expectations that living is only when your adrenaline and dopamine levels are high. If your only source of life comes from the addicting “highs,” you’ll never be satiated, and the dualistic view of happy versus sad may lead to the improper correlation to life versus death. Living is based on the choices you make in each moment: good/bad/neutral. So just learn to make choices. Inaction is stymied growth, but is still life as we know it. Is it yours?