Time, as we all know, is nothing but a social construct. Humanity is so hung up on the various aspects of it–when to do this, when to do that, what happened yesterday, what will happen tomorrow. Though clocks have proven themselves to be beneficial to our society, none of that really matters. If you really want to live your life to the fullest, the only thing that should matter is Now. And yes, even if living in the Now is without a doubt a challenge, it should be a challenge you’re willing to take to achieve genuine happiness.
1. Stop changing yourself for other people.
It’s crazy how much our society thrives off of what other people have to say about them. It’s even crazier when you realize that those people who are trying to shape you are being shaped by other people as well. To think that our opinions are mimicries and our overall beings, replicas. Nobody is ever an original because we’re too busy trying to conform to society’s unattainable standards. Why change yourself for the sake of your reputation? If you’re happy with who you are, then you shouldn’t waste your Now attempting to prove yourself and your worth.
2. Go with the flow.
There will always be a tomorrow, but how are you going to live in the Now if tomorrow is all you’re thinking about? Go ahead and construct a minute by minute plan for your tomorrow. Sorry to say that chances are, 50% of those things aren’t going to occur at the time you want, 40% probably won’t even happen, and fate will surely somehow get in the way of 10%. I totally fabricated those statistics, but the fact of the matter is, planning your every move won’t stop things from happening. You can’t shove your agenda in fate’s face. If it’s really meant to be, it will be. Be the steady rock in a flowing stream and just go with it. Life is all about spontaneity, anyway.
3. Don’t wait to do what you want to do.
They say patience is a virtue, but even patience has a limit. Let’s say you’re waiting for a text from a certain someone. One day has passed. Then a week. Next thing you know, it’s already been a month. Are you really going to waste your time waiting for someone or something you know isn’t going to come? Stop lying to yourself and stop romanticizing the dreadful process. Stop waiting and if it really is bothering you, take initiative and start doing.
4. Let go.
The list is endless. Let go of your mistakes. Let go of toxic relationships. Let go of your pride. Let go of bad habits, may it be biting your nails or associating with a certain person. Let go of your judgements, your grudges, your insecurities. The things you cling onto are often the reason why you’re incapable of living in the Now, because you’re permitting your mind to wander and evaluate things that belong in the past. Learn to let go of everything that hinders you from growing and finding happiness.
5. Don’t live with any regrets.
When “No Ragrets,” a line popularized by the 2013 movie We’re The Millers, was dominating the Internet as a mere meme, I took it seriously and incorporated it into my life motto: Risk over regret. Everybody makes questionable decisions. Personally, I would be able to make a whole novel with mine. But no matter how many regrets you have and mistakes you’ve made, ask yourself this: Is there any use in crying over spilled milk? There’s not much you can do, except grab a napkin and soak up as much of it as you can.
Once you’ve tried your best to clean up the mess you made, move on with your life and start anew. Learn from your mistakes even if it means screwing up a few more times. I mean, you have absolutely nothing to lose, because the past is past and you can’t lose something you no longer have. You are the things you experience, the people you meet, the songs you listen to, the books you read. Although your regrets should not and do not define you, they help mold you into the person you want to become. Why be ashamed of who you are?
6. Create a sense of appreciation.
It has come to my attention that the lot of us have forgotten how to appreciate the world we live in. School, work, family, friends, and an anxious, clouded mind often get in the way of appreciating the moment you’re in, the people you’re with, or the mundane things you’re surrounded by. But there are so many things to be thankful for, like when you’ve been talking on the phone with someone for hours, yet half of the time has been spent in silence, the comfortable sort, where you don’t feel the need to say anything. Or when you’ve finished your french fries and lo and behold, there’s a few more left at the bottom of the bag.
How about being stuck in traffic on a rainy day while a good song is playing? Or when there’s no traffic at all? Or when you’ve found loose cash in your pockets? Early morning jogs and the serenity you find in solitary. Old journals and baby albums, dusty photos of Mom and Dad in their youth and a comforting sense of nostalgia.
Don’t forget all the hurt, confusion and embarrassment we’re destined to endure. Pretty silly appreciating all the times you wanted to put a brown paper bag over your head, huh? Think again. Sometimes we forget that it takes familiarizing yourself with sadness and humiliation to be acquainted with happiness. Because the world, though incredibly vile, is also incredibly beautiful. All you have to do is learn how to recognize it. To embrace it while it lasts.
To live in the Now.