Our thought processes make a huge contribution to the quality of our lives. If thoughts are disorganized and unproductive, so shall our life become. It has been observed that humans can spend a lot of time in thinking about their past or worrying about future, thus losing precious moments of their present lives. As a counter to this, a philosophy has emerged in recent times that suggests we should live in the moment because the past is gone and the future will take care of itself provided we utilize our present moments well. However, this last philosophy is a severe approximation of reality and of what is good for our lives.
One does need to reflect on one’s past to resolve emotional dilemmas arising from it or they remain a burden on our souls. We learn much from it. One also has to plan for future. What is therefore required is not to try and ignore the past or future but to structure thoughts about them in the most beneficial and productive way so that we are freed to enjoy and make the most of our present moments. My reflections and experience on the issue has led me to the following that I am sharing with readers here. Consider the day divided in three parts,
Morning hours: These are the hours from the time you wake up to the time you have had your breakfast and from fifteen minutes to half an hour after that. The activities that we fit into these morning hours shall vary from person to person according to life style. We have discussed some in earlier posts and shall not go into those here but in the present context it does seem best not to use these morning hours to either think of the past or the future. Enjoy the present moments of your mornings and do not waste anytime on past or future thoughts. However do reserve around fifteen minutes of it to reflect on the day ahead and plan its activities. You may wish to prepare a do-list for that so that when you follow up on that during the day, it is a productive, enjoyable and useful day. However do not be too rigid about your do-list because you do not know how the day shall unfold and some revision would be required of the initial plan, playing it by the ear as you plunge yourself into the magic of a new day.
Working hours: A retired person may not have any fixed working hours at all but these hours refer to the hours from after breakfast to around five in the evening, give or take an hour depending on local customs. In some Arab countries the work day ends at around 2 pm. It is followed by the main meal of the day and an afternoon nap which is a wonderful thing to do. Do try and fit an afternoon nap in your schedule or if not possible, even a brief cat nap will help. It is a great way to keep oneself fresh until late in the evening. During these work hours it is necessary that we focus on the present task at hand unless it is a holiday then use some of this time to plan for the future, short term, medium term and long term plans. That is all the time one needs for future planning. As life unfolds it will be natural to revise such plans according to feedback we get from life
Evening hours: These evening hours are the time for relaxing, chatting with family and friends, dinner as also to review the days activities or even reflect on one’s past. It is best in these evening hours not to think of what to do tomorrow or in future but keep it exclusively for relaxation, present moments and past reflection or discussion.
So there you have it friends, living in the moment while allocating appropriate time for past and future too.
Image source: http://www.pixnio.com/fauna-animals/birds/warblers-pictures/yellow-warblers/yellow-prothonotary-warbler-singing-bird