When present moment is not a good thing
So many people, including myself, preach about the benefits of focusing on the present moment. If you are centred on the future it usually means you are worried about something that might happen which only feeds your fears. If you are re-living past experiences and letting them stop you from moving forward, then it means fear is in control then too.
By focusing on the present moment, you’ll find you are more peaceful, centred, and open to opportunities. But I believe there are times when focusing on the present moment is not a good idea and that’s what this article is about.
When dealing with physical pain
Today, I had to have minor surgery on my toe. I thought it would be a relatively easy procedure so I had it done by my local GP. The reality is, I should have done more research because it turns out having a wedge resection isn’t just a small cut of the nail. And who knew, how sensitive your big toe can be and how much blood it could produce!
Never the less, this time, and others when I have had to face a physically painful experience was definitely one of the times when focusing on the present moment is not a good idea. Had I been focused on what was going on each moment, I may have (actually I am pretty sure I would have) passed out.
Let me assure you there is nothing gentle or balanced about having part of your nail ripped out. But by focusing on the future outcome, instead of the present moment, I was able to get through it a lot easier. I just kept picturing myself being able to put on a pair of running shoes again and go for a run pain-free.
When faced with rock bottom
A dear friend called me this morning and she was in a really bad place. Usually, she is the most positive person and always has only good things to say. But at the moment, she just isn’t herself because of an insurmountable number of heartbreaking events that would have crushed even The Rock’s big shoulders.
Wanting desperately to help in any way I could I knew this was one of those times when focusing on the present moment is not a good idea. She needed to believe she could get through this and the best thing to do, speaking from personal experience, was to focus on the future. To remind her that what she is going through is only temporary. To get her to see herself six months from now, in a better place.
When you need motivation
Focusing on the present moment is not a good idea when your current situation isn’t that great. For example, if your goal is to be financial enough to live in a modern, waterfront home and drive the latest series BMW. Then there is absolutely no point in focusing on your current situation if you live in an inner city shared accommodation and catch public transport.
Instead, you need to picture your future self on a regular basis, already in that gorgeous home and with the car parked downstairs in the garage. It’s like bringing the future into the present moment and the more real you can imagine it, the sooner your mind and body will create it.
Then the trick is to be able to enjoy it by being in the present moment.