What am I doing with my life? A question many of us ask ourselves at some point. We all continue to look for meaning while making plans for the future. The danger rises when we are so concerned with finding our meaning, that we fail to experience the reality that surrounds us.
Understanding our place in the world is a difficult task, made even more so by the uncertainty of the future. Its no wonder we spend such a great deal of our time attempting to find our place amidst the chaos that is life. The simplicity of survival is no longer our primary concern. Instead we look toward leaving our mark on existence, in whatever form we feel is right. However, at times we look so far ahead we forget the impermanence of it all.
Every day that passes is one that will never return. While it is important for us to realize our destiny, it is equally important we savor every moment we are given. While some would advise its not a good idea to lose sight of the forest for the trees I would argue its equally important to not lose sight of the trees for the forest. Much like the individual tree, any one day may seem insignificant. However, the key to success lies in appreciating every moment we come across, rather than looking to the day when they will combine to create something greater.
The challenges arises when one tries to employ this philosophy to everyday life. For many of us, getting through our day is a victory in itself. Yet, when we approach time as something to kill, we are doing ourselves a disservice. How can one live in the moment, if they spend half their life counting down the minutes until the day is over. The key lies in finding a way to appreciate all aspects of our existence, even those we might not enjoy. The question is how to accomplish such a seemingly unattainable task.
It is unrealistic to expect every moment to be ideal. There will always be times in life where we would rather be elsewhere. Yet, if we try to deal with it by looking to a time when we believe things will be more bearable we are cheating ourselves the full experience. We must embrace every second, like it may be the last. However, this is easier said than done, and requires a change in how we look at the world.
While changing one’s perception is difficult, it is not impossible. The key is to remember that every moment is valuable. While we may not enjoy them all, by living in the now we are able to learn and grow in a way we would otherwise miss. By conditioning ourselves to focus on what lies directly in front of us the moments that make life living will seem all the more worthwhile. Once we stop looking forward to the forest we will find our place among the trees.