By Kevin Kilgarriff
Now is the most important moment in your entire life. And who best to help illustrate that then the comedic genius, Mel Brooks, in this classic exchange from Spaceballs.
It’s pretty clear from this that Now is Now and it’s the only Now that we can physically experience in this life. We’re in Now now. We can’t go back to Then. And we can never actually be at Soon either. As soon as we get to Soon, or Then, both Soon and Then would automatically become Now! It’s a fact of life.
We often hear about the importance of living in the “Now”. Eckhart Tolle wrote an entire book about it with The Power of Now. Tony Robbins loves to use the phrase “when would ‘now’ be a good time?”. That’s at least two experts that agree that ‘Now’ is an important part of your life. So it must be true right?
Well the fact is that they’re right! Now is the single most important moment in your life. Because it’s the only one that actually exists! Out of all the moments that will make up your life, right now is the only one you have any control over. All of the moments in your past, they’re gone. They don’t exist anymore. They may have been amazingly memorable moments. But the truth is that all they are right now is memory. You can only think back to them and recall what it was like. But you cannot live them again. And you sure as hell can’t change them. And believe me, we all have moments that we’d like to change. Like, for instance, these people…
Yeah…I think they might want some of those moments back. But sorry peeps! Those moments are gone. That’s life! You just can’t go back.
And what about those moments that we look forward to in the future? Well it’s great to have something to look forward to. I for one am really looking forward to having leftover Beef Stroganoff for lunch (it was really good!). But that moment doesn’t exist yet. It hasn’t happened. And it won’t for another four long hours. Which sucks, because I’m hungry for it now.
But I digress, the only moment that actually exists and that you actually have any control over is ‘NOW’! So when you hear someone tell you to “live in the now”, they couldn’t be more right. Why would you want to spend your time living in moments that don’t exist, when you can put yourself fully into the moment that is your entire world right now? You have control over this moment. And to make it even more interesting, what you do in this moment is going to have an impact on those future moments that might be monopolizing your mind. So it stands to reason that if you give your all to this very moment that is occurring right now, then those future moments will be more enjoyable for you, and for others.
For instance, I could sit hear hungry and dream about Beef Stroganoff (I’m telling you, it was really good!). Or I could have a quick snack (maybe a Snickers. I get a little wordy when I hungry) start concentrating on this moment.
I used to be a procrastinator. I would put things off until the last moment. I’d wait until last possible ‘Now’ that I had left. But I would procrastinate with everything I did. I would only do it with the things that I was unsure about it. Isn’t that how it always is? We do the things we’re more confident with first.
If I was in school and not comfortable with a subject, I’d put off studying it or on finishing the assignment. If I was at work and not certain about the best way to finish a project, I’d wait until the last minute to work on it. When I was younger and my Dad would ask me to rake the leaves, I’d put it off for as long as I could. Ok, well maybe that’s because raking leaves sucks. But the point is, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. And do you know what happened while I was procrastinating? I was still thinking about those things and worrying about how much it would suck to do them. They were still controlling my ‘Now’ even though I wasn’t doing them. We’ve all been there. And we’ve all realized that when the time came that to actually performed the task that we were putting off, it never seemed as hard as once thought. And inevitably we’d say, “why didn’t I do that sooner?” In reality, when you procrastinate, and spend hours worry about it, you’re just wasting countless moments that could have been spent doing something more enjoyable.
It took me years to figure out… Scratch that. I figured out long ago that procrastination was a dumb idea. But it took me years to make the decision to wise up and actually stop doing it. Yes, I procrastinated when it came to stop procrastinating. And what I found was that by using my ‘Now’ the best way I can, it made all of my future moments that much better.
‘Now’ is the most important moment in your life. I’m going to keep repeating that because it’s so important. Without ‘Now’, nothing would be possible. ‘Now’ is the time that you need to take hold off and harness its power. Make that phone call. Start that morning run. Write that email. Do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off for days, weeks, months or years. Now is the time to take action and start improving your life.
‘Now’ is the most important moment in your life. There will be opportunities that will only exist right now. A chance to say hi to that girl. Or smile at that guy. To ask for that promotion. To tell that person you love them. To call that old friend you had a falling out with. To eat that Beef Stroganoff for breakfast instead of waiting for lunch. Or to say Thank You.
The fact is that you are guaranteed no other moments except the one you’re living right now. So make the best of it and don’t let it pass without grabbing hold of what it has to offer.
‘Now’ is the most important moment in your life. Embrace it. Make it your own. And take full advantage of it. Because once that moment passes, you will never see it again. Live in the NOW!