Learn From The Past, Plan For The Future & Stay In The Present



I recently read a book called The Present by Spencer Johnson. I recommend the book to anyone in any stage of their life. It’s the kind of book that you can read in less than a day, but it contains such a strong message. Do you remember when you were a child, the way you could focus on a task with all your attention? Whether it was playing with your toys, drawing in your sketch book, jumping on the trampoline or reading a book. Your mind didn’t have any thoughts that would fly in asking yourself questions that made you feel worried. There were no worries that would create themselves inside of you, because you were focused on enjoying the moment, rather than worrying about the future. Kids are the greatest reminder of staying in the moment.

Most of the time the stress we have in our lives, are very often created from our thoughts. These thoughts can then affect our mood and the actions we take. They give out negative energy and cause more negative things to be attracted into our lives. When we worry, it tends to be something about the future, or when we feel bad, it may be a memory from the past. One of the important messages in the book, is that in this moment is the moment we can choose to enjoy and live. We are in control of the present. In the present we can decide to look at the past as a way to learn and be better from it. We can look towards the future with a sense of making ourselves better than where we currently are. When we’re in the present, we invite happiness and success into our lives, because we don’t allow the past and future to steal our time.

We can’t touch the past but we can learn and improve from it. We can’t touch the future yet, but we can reach our goals and vision by planning for the future. When we plan and focus on the present, we are able to enjoy life far more. In the book it says Once you have prepared for The Future, you can enjoy The Present with less anxiety. It reminds us that when we have a direction in life, it allows us to focus on what we can do in the present, in order to bring about the future we want. Another quote that spoke to me was Success is becoming who you are capable of being. We all have different definitions of success. Whatever it is that we really want to strive for, we have the ability. The moment we start creating scenarios in our mind or causing a thought to exaggerate, we allow it to build up and ruin our focus.

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has things they wish they did or said differently. Although, we must use our precious time to learn from those moments. They give us a valuable lesson in order to improve and change ourselves. Many of us have dreams or goals we want to achieve in life. It’s really important to have a positive mindset on it, otherwise it’s easy to quickly diminish from simple thoughts such as “I can’t because…” or “What if…” We are all able to reach our goals.  Being In The Present Means Tuning Out Distractions And Paying Attention To What Is Important, Now. You Create Your Own Present By What You Give Your Attention To Today. These words are so true, because what we put our attention on is ultimately the moment we choose. There is a choice to how we see and react to every good or bad situation.

It Is Hard To Let Go Of The Past If You Have Not Learned From The Past. As Soon As You Learn And Let Go, You Improve The Present Today. The book has a lot of wise words that most of us already know ourselves, but we forget to do it. Johnson reminds us that it’s okay to slip from time to time, and it’s a gentle reminder to focus back to the present. Everyone experiences hurt and pain. Those memories can bring a grey cloud over ones head. We are reminded that those memories have happened and we can’t change them, but we can become stronger from it. Sometimes certain things happen in life that we experience, because it allows us to recognise what is important. Letting go releases the pain you’ve held in for too long. It releases the tension in your mind.

Living in The Present learning from The Past and planning for The Future is not all there is. It is only when you Work and Live with Purpose and respond to what’s important about The Present, Past and Future, that it all has meaning. – Spencer Johnson

Art by Lieke van der Vorst