How do you be present yet look to the future?
By - JustinF608
Simple. Plan for the future consciously. When you are done, resume living in the present
I agree- be present in your planning for the future
It sounds better the way you put it .
Living in the moment, or being mindful, present, whatever you want to call it, is not contrary to looking towards the future. This isn't so much about forgetting about the future, it's more about changing your relationship to your mental projection of the future.
You're on point A, and want to be on point B. So you plan your route to get to point B.
If you're not living in the moment, the most important thing will be to get to point B. Your state of mind may be dissatisfaction with A and a desire to get to B as soon as possible. You'd spend your time thinking about either A or B and not pay your fullest attention to the step you're taking now, which decreases the quality of your task. Anxiety and stress may arise if progress doesn't happen fast enough to the mind's liking, and/or if there's an obstacle that delays or blocks this progress. If getting to B turns out to be a waste of time, it may make you very unhappy.
If you are living in the moment, the most important thing is the step you're taking now. Maybe the step is to trace the route from A to B. You do that and just that. Then the next step comes, and the next. You might set reminders or even create a schedule so you don't have to think about next steps when you're resting. You know you have no control over what happens in the future, so you focus your energy on what happens now, and that results in a higher quality step than if your mind was too focused on its thoughts about the future. If an obstacle shows up, that's as much part of the journey as the path. Hell, the obstacle, the challenge, is the path. You can still feel frustration, and you acknowledge it's a feeling that arises from thoughts in the mind. If getting to B turns out to be a waste of time, you accept that you can't do anything about the time spent, learn from your mistakes, and you move on to the next thing.
So well said!
The goal of mindfulness isn't never thinking about the future, it's about having control of when you think about the future. Most people spend most of their waking moments obsessing about the past or future (when not hiding in escapism) without deciding to do so . Our thinking controls us instead of the other way around. But with mindfulness you gain more control. You get to decide when it's time to plan for the future. You also gain a clearer eyed view into reality which allows you to make better decisions when the time comes to do so.
As others have said in different ways... The future (and past) are just thoughts. If you recognize them as just thoughts and don't get absorbed by the thoughts as if they were real, then you can be mindful of still being in the present.
I'd change past and future to be within the present. We only ever think about past or future in the present moment.
This is the wrong take, the title refers to shifting your focus (thoughts). These thought occur in real time technically, if that’s what you mean
Edit: I think what the OP essentially means is, how do I reduce worrying (about the future) so that I can focus on the present? Worrying, I’m pretty sure, has a scientific definition in psychology. I recall participating in a psychology study about “worrying” in undergrad which involved being cognizant of the frequency of certain thoughts. I agree that worrying detracts from making optimal decisions in real time so minimizing it (ie being present) is ideal
My take is that most of us are so anxious and future-focused that no matter how hard we try to be present, we will still end up giving enough attention to the future to get by. It's baked into our nature.
I'll never be so present that I'll forget to eat, or pay my rent, or have fears that spur me to take action in my life.
"Living in the moment" is an only ideal that we aim for. It's not something that is ever fully achieved to the extent that it incapacitates us.
Being present is actually perceiving the input you receive from the environment and your own body's motions and feelings. It excludes expecting future outcomes and making interpretations that dig deeper into the input's nature. I don't understand how one could ever immerse oneself so deeply into the present moment so that one loses sense of own biological needs
Follow up for everyone answering. How do you deal with the past? Speciffically feeling sad when looking at pictures of kids and good times past.
Honour the sadness, its there because of something that has to be acknowledged. But at the same time, feel the love that's in those memories.
Do not try to hide them, just accept them. I think being mindful and enjoying the present or current moment can help you realize there are still good times, and so you become less attached to that past.
Is this something that must be... dealt with? As in, something must be done to change these things you experience and feel? If so, why?
Like this maybe... your going to work on the train or something and you notice the moment and hold it there, the beauty of the trees etc. Then a colleague gets in the train and starts complaining about the economy etc, you take him positive by looking to the bright future in your mind.
You don't look to the future. That's the point of being present.
Thinking of the future and dwelling/worrying about it are different things
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you step by step: 1. Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time? ²Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. ³God’s Teacher cannot be satisfied with His teaching until it constitutes all your learning. ⁴He has not fulfilled His teaching function until you have become such a consistent learner that you learn only of Him. (https://acim.org/acim/en/s/190#1:1-4 | T-15.I.1:1-4)
That's the neat part, you don't
(i just wanted to quote the meme)
What's up with the mental gymnastics?...
Looking to the future is an activity in the present. You can never really leave the present. You just *think* you can. If anything, realize you were lost in the thoughts and pay attention to your breathing again, but don't think too much about it.