Have you ever noticed that some days seem to go faster than others? That you find yourself saying to yourself, “Wow, today went fast.” Well, there may be a reason for that. This is what we will explore in this article.

There are three concepts of time. They are the past, the present, and the future. Of these three, the only one that really exists is the present. The past is gone and cannot be brought back, and the future isn’t here yet. According to Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now, there really is no such thing as the past or the future. Yes, in the concept of the words “past” and “future” exists, however not in the physical and tangible sense. The past is gone forever, and the future never really comes because once it does, it becomes the present. So, you see they really don’t exist. A quote by the famous guitar player, Carlos Santana states that “Most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present and the present is where everything begins.”

The reason why some days may seem to go faster than others is because people tend to waste too much of their time thinking of the past or the future, therefore totally ignoring and not realizing how quickly the present flies by. The only real time we have is the present moment! Understanding this concept will help you navigate through life. For example, think of our state of mind on a continuum. On the extreme left end of the continuum is the “past”. Mental health practitioners suggest that depression is usually a state of mind that originates from too much negative thinking of the past. On the opposite extreme end on this continuum to the far right is the “future” where anxiety seems to originate from thinking and worrying far into the future. In the middle of this continuum is the “present”. A state of mind that promotes a balanced mental homeostasis and equilibrium. To maintain a healthy mind, we need to strive for this balance and to focus more on our happy memories and moments as well as the present. Less focus should be given to our past mistakes and the unknown future. Life is now!

Please understand that I’m not saying not to have goals, deadlines, hope and aspirations about our future. These are all required for our future success. What I am referring to here is the excessive, unproductive worrying about both past and future events and issues that are either gone or may not ever even happen. According to Oprah Winfrey, “Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

So, the real question here is, “How many of us are actually guilty of dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future?” I think probably, far more of us than we care to admit. My wonderful Aunt Nettie used to tell me, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!” Invariably, whatever you plan, there is an unforeseen curveball that arises, most times, things don’t go exactly as planned. Once you realize this is the norm for most people, you won’t obsess on perfection and be less anxious when things do not go as planned. Live for the moment and deal with issues as they arise. Tell yourself, don’t worry, because whatever comes your way, you are intelligent enough to deal with the problem.

Some ways in which we can live more in the moment are:

- Enjoy every moment of life.
- Stay positive throughout the day and let go of negative thoughts.
- Be conscious of your thoughts as you are in control of your mind.
- Stop worrying about tomorrow.
- Do not dwell on the past or the future.
- Be grateful, as there is a lot to be grateful for.
- Appreciate and worship the present moment.
- Practice mindful meditation.
- Accept those things that cannot change.

All we really have in our lives is the present moment! The more we can focus on the moment, the slower our days will go. An appreciation for present moments will lead to a happier fulfilling life.

Tolle, E. (2001). The power of now. Hodder Paperback.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Al Infande is a full time Professor at Columbia Southern University where he teaches courses in HR Management and Training and Development. His academic degree credentials include a Doctorate in Education in Adult Education/HR Development, a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology, a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, and a Masters in HR Management. He has numerous publications and has served a VP of HR and Training and Development for several organizations during his corporate tenure.