Intentional Living Series Week Thirty-One: Do You Live In The Moment Or In The Future?

Posted: 10 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Intentional Living Series | Read Time: 3 minutes, 28 seconds

{A Dragon Fly Exemplifies The Virtue Of Living In The Moment}

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.                 ~Denis Waitley

In Week 31 I looked at how you create the rhythm of your life through the choices you make. Today we are going to explore what it means to live in the moment vs living for the future. 

What comes to mind when someone says they "live in the moment"? This has been a discussion point in our home because Marty and I come from different vantage points. I am a person who lives for the future and Marty is a person who lives for the present. I will give you an example. When Marty makes a sandwich, after laying all the ingredients on the counter, he assembles a tasty sandwich and then with sandwich in hand heads into the other room to enjoy it. He leaves all the ingredients on the counter. When I make a sandwich, I follow the same steps he does except I put everything away before enjoying my sandwich. So is Marty a slob or am I just into delayed gratification? No, Marty is hungry and is engaged in the moment and is not thinking about the future and clean-up. I, on the other hand, while I may be hungry envision a future where I have to come back and clean up the kitchen and I don't want that hanging over my head.

What this light hearted example points out is that our ability to imagine our future frames our actions. Teenagers regularly take risks in the moment that could have lifetime consequences. But due to their age and inexperience don't take the time to or can't imagine a future where they have to suffer the consequence of their risky behavior. If as a young person you could really imagine living to the age of 65 and retiring, then you may very well aggressively fund your 401K. The ability to see yourselves in the future allows you to decide on what you are willing to trade today for the imagined future. Of course if you become obsessed with how you are going to live once you reach the age of 65, you will miss out on life now. 

Martin Luther, the 16th century theology professor, wrote, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree". To live a life intentionally and with purpose, you must embrace today with the understanding that the choices you make today frame the future. Today is lived through the actions you take and the dreams you inspire in yourself and others. But remember the apple tree you plant today will supply the apples of the future. You may choose to live in the moment but don't do so at the cost of tomorrow. 

Week 31 Assignment: During your Morning 30 examine whether you "live in the moment" or "live for the future". Do you have a balanced approach in the choices you make for living today and planning for tomorrow?


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