In many ways, modern life seems almost — at times — determined to draw our attention away from the present moment as much as possible and to make sure that we are always obsessing over the future, or reflecting on the past.
Of course, it’s necessary to plan for the future and to learn from our past experiences, but at the same time, many wisdom traditions from around the world and from throughout the ages — including Zen Buddhism and Biblical verses — specifically argue for the importance of “being here now” in the present moment.
Here are just a few ways that taking up mindfulness-promoting practices and being more centered in the present moment may help to improve and enrich your life.
Small actions have dramatic effects
It’s very easy to get caught up in, and overwhelmed by, ambitious plans and ideas, to the extent that we struggle to figure out how best to actually progress towards our goals.
Often, all of that frustration, obsession, and planning doesn’t amount to much more than pacing back and forth in a state of confusion and agitation.
When all is said and done, the only way that any of us can actually steer and influence the course of our lives is through what we choose to do, here and now, in each moment.
Small actions can often have dramatic compound effects over time, even in the absence of specific goals. If you work out consistently day after day, you will become a healthier and more in shape individual over time. By contrast, many people set New Year’s Resolutions to get in shape, and have a lot of great plans and ideas, but simply don’t turn up each day to the gym.
Avoiding indecision and stagnation
In virtually every dimension of your life, there are likely to be a variety of different things that you need to do at any given time, as well as various decisions that you need to make.
It may be, for example, that your business car park is in a poor state of repair and so you need to investigate a high-quality repair service, in which case you could click here to start the process. Or it may be that you need to deal with some household chores you’ve been putting off.
By focusing on what you can do in the here and now, bit by bit, you sidestep a lot of the indecision and stagnation that tends to be associated with “analysis paralysis.”
Just look around you and do what there is to be done.
Enjoy the magic and opportunity to be found in life
Taking action in the here and now helps to restore a sense of personal agency, which may well be lacking if you feel generally swamped and overwhelmed across different dimensions of your life as a whole.
It might seem virtually inconceivable to you that you could get a new job, for example. But in the here and now, it’s certainly doable to edit your CV and to send out an application.
You might struggle to imagine a clean and beautiful home, but in the here and now, there’s no reason you can’t vacuum and clear up some clutter. Shifting your awareness and taking action in the here and now can reveal a lot of the magic and opportunity to be found in life.