“Approach every moment as if it were your last, and not a preparation for something else.” – Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Teacher
By. Danielle Husband
In the past, I used to find the idea of living each day as though it were your last confusing. If I knew this day would be my last, I would drop all pretense and responsibility — changes that would be impossible to maintain long-term. As I’ve tried to be more mindful, however, I’ve realized that it’s not about reacting to your possible demise; living for today is about being here in the now rather than sacrificing today in the hopes that tomorrow will bring something better.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of relying on tomorrow to bring your happiness. In many ways, it’s built into our culture. We are actively encouraged to pursue greater returns in the future at the expense of our present. While preparing for the future is a good idea, there are no guarantees that it will ever come. All we are guaranteed is this moment.
Being in the present can help you make the most of the moments you do have. Some people can pack a lot of living into a short period of time, while others languish on the vine of life. It’s up to you which one you become, which means you have the power to shape your life.
Living for today doesn’t mean ignoring your future. Just slow down so that you can enjoy the things that make you happy today. Even as you progress toward your future goals, you’ll be living your life. Remember that your life is happening now, whether you’re living it or not.
Today, try living for right now and not for an unpromised future. You may find that life is better when you don’t wait until tomorrow to truly live.