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Insights: Living for Now
July 01, 2008

Living for Now

One of the great things that my exposure to life coaching has taught me is the power of living in the moment – or living for now.

If you don’t know what this means, hearing people talk about it will probably irritate you. It did me.

Being a person more inclined toward rational, logical thinking, I used to ask myself:

“What on earth do they mean by ‘living in the moment’? After all, life has a past, a current and a future and surely all of these are equally relevant and deserving of our consideration?”

It’s only when it was explained to me by my coach that ‘living in the moment’ didn’t mean giving up thoughts of the past or plans for the future that it started to make sense to me. She told me to look at it not as some form of esoteric new-age philosophy understood only by tree huggers and people in leather thronged sandals but simply as an approach to life aimed at making it a more meaningful and joyful experience.

As I started to think about ‘living in the moment’ from a perspective other that offered by my engineering-trained brain, I realised that I had already been given a salutary lesson in the concept by my parents.

My beloved mother, who now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives in the care of an old age home, was one of the kindest, most generous people you could imagine… but she was a chronic worrier.

She spent a large part of her earlier married life worrying about the future and what it would bring. Then, in later life, her mind turned to the past and what could or should have been, if only…!

Mother’s concerns ranged from the political state of Britain (and, after emigration, South Africa) to Dad’s job, to our education as children and then what would become of us, to what would become of her and Dad as they got older.

Mum was an avid reader and would absorb everything that the media could throw at her, then play it back to us as her well-intended way of warning us about the evils and injustices of life that we would have to prepare for and face up to.

Dad, on the other hand, seemed to have a far more ‘laid back’ approach to life. His recollections of the past were mostly joyful ones and his views about the future was it was there to be lived when it arrived.

Dad loved nothing more than a braai and a few drinks with family and friends, sharing joke after joke – sometimes interspersed with a naughty rugby song or two – until everyone around him was creased up with laughter.

My Mum would sometimes get frustrated with Dad for his seeming inability to treat pressing issues with the necessary seriousness and his apparent unwillingness to discuss her many concerns about the future. Dad, on the other hand, would do what he could to divert their conversations to lighter, more joyful ‘in-the-moment’ things.

If ever I wanted proof of the validity of the law of attraction, I needed only to look to my parents. Perhaps Mum’s biggest fear for her future was of landing in an old age home and being lonely. Sadly for her, that came to pass. My Dad died peacefully, seconds after sharing a joke and a sip of wine with my brother.

As a product of the two, I have been fortunate to have had exposure to two very different approaches to life – and this, after the ‘a-ha’ moments that coaching was to afford me, has helped me gain a healthy respect for the concept of living in the moment, or ‘living for now’ as I prefer to call it.

How about you?

Are you one of the countless numbers of people that worry and fret constantly over what the future will bring? Or are you inclined to dwell in the past, just wishing that you could change the course of history, right some past wrongs or alter some key decisions?

If so, I’d like to invite you to consider trying a different approach. One that will unquestionably result in you deriving more joy and fulfillment from your life.

I know it’s not that easy to simply change one’s approach to life at the drop of a hat. It’s a much easier thing to do if you have some inspiration and a little help. It’s my hope that this message will offer a little inspiration and I can strongly recommend the services of a life coach to provide ongoing help and support.

Allow me to share with you two wonderful pieces of advice that my coach gave me (‘new insights’ if you like!):

1. Appreciate that what constitutes reality for you is not what constitutes reality for others;

2. Understand that you are the creator of your own reality.

If you’re like me, this advice may take a while to get your mind around. Once you do, believe me that the effect will be profound.

You see, people who dwell in the past or fear for the future, come from the paradigm that reality is something created by others. They look at how they have become victims of others’ reality and worry about how, if they’re not really careful, that ‘reality’ will be imposed on them in the future.

Reality, for these people, is what they read about in newspapers, what they hear about on the TV or from friends, colleagues or ‘subject matter experts’. They feel they have no control over ‘reality’ as they are just one relatively powerless individual among billions on Earth.

People who live for now realise that the ‘reality’ that they experience is unique to them. More than that, they realise that they, alone, are capable of changing or creating their own reality to suit themselves.

People who live for now are able to see through the haze of past disappointments or negative future outcomes and appreciate the richness and beauty of their life as it is right now before them. They see the current with a degree of luminous technicolour that is hidden from others.

Experiencing life is like climbing a tree in the jungle. You are presented with an almost infinite range of possible routes to take on the journey towards the light. Opportunities, like branches, are plentiful, each of them offering a different experience and a different view of the world. But the choice as to which branches you choose to follow is yours and yours alone. And the choice about whether to enjoy every moment of the route you choose is yours and yours alone too.

At New Insights we like to think of our role as one of helping people create their own reality by living life for now.

Our New Insights life coach training programme is for people who are passionate about helping others realize their full potential. It is also for people who crave self-development; people who want to learn for themselves the secrets of living a joyous life of personal freedom, confidence and growth.

I invite you to visit our website or contact me personally if you’re considering joining the ranks of our many satisfied customers.

With warm regards and best wishes,


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