I was walking out of Wal-Mart last night and saw a guy with a t-shirt that read “Be Right Now”. At first, I was sort of perplexed by what that meant. I thought maybe he was a hipster (which is rare in Branson) and was wearing the shirt ironically, but then it hit me pretty hard: Life truly is about being right now.
It seems like an easy thing to grasp, but honestly it’s not. We tend to focus on the past more than we should. I know I’m not alone in that. Odds are this exact scenario has happened to you before:
I’m exhausted and my bed has been calling my name for hours. I finally am able to climb in, I get comfortable, my eyes begin to grow heavy. Just as I’m beginning to nod off, my brain goes, “HEY! REMEMBER THAT ONE EMBARASSING THING FROM 6 YEARS AGO? WANNA TALK ABOUT IT?”
Aaaaaannnnd I’m up all night reliving a moment that I can’t do anything about
No need to raise hands, I see you. I know your pain; I’ve been there, too.
Too often we live in the past. Maybe past failures, sometimes past glories.
We allow these moments to live in our heads and keep us from our full potential. We allow our past circumstances to affect our present situations. In my new book Do the Damn Thing, available October 7th, I dive deep into this discussion. We take moments from our past, good or bad, and we allow them to shape us. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. But when it keeps you from acheiving a dream or using it as an excuse to not go after what you want, it’s a bad thing. We allow our past to cripple us, and then we use it as crutch and an excuse.
Likewise, we tend to focus on the future. Now, I’ll never fault you for planning and going after your dreams and that’s not what I’m trying to say here. But sometimes, we get so caught up in “the five year plan” that we forget that life is happening right now!
I’m incredibly guilty of this. Amazing things happen in my life constantly, and instead of being humble and thankful, I can’t wait for the next amazing thing. Instead of stopping and basking in the moment of the here and now, I can’t stop thinking about that one stupid thing I did 14 years ago that no one but me remembers (Peeved Author’s Note – If you remember it, don’t remind me). We’ve become too busy. We allow our desires to consume us and oftentimes hinder us. We become so focused on “the thing” that we forget about the wonderful things around us. And then, that thing keeps us up at night. Instead of trusting the process, instead of believing in ourselves, we worry about the future. Honestly, isn’t the stupid? The future is something I have very minimal control over. You may be the most prepared person on the planet, but eventually life will throw you a curveball and jack your plans up. You can’t spend time worrying about it.
One of my favorite quotes that I’ve read is “Life isn’t a race; find joy in the journey”. We’re eager to rush to the finish line. We want that thing, whatever it may be, at the end of the proverbial finish line.
But life shouldn’t be about rewards. Life should be about memories and moments. Memories with friends and loved one. Moments that make your heart swell and leave that dumb grin on your face. Actually, come to think about it, those are the rewards.
Last night, I got to hug a beautiful girl, see an amazing sunset, and laugh with a good friend of mine in the parking lot of my job, and it was the happiest I had been in weeks. I earned nothing, but it’s a moment I’ll cherish.
Don’t let your past cripple you; don’t allow your future to rule you. Live for each day. Make moments count. Love people now.
My Uncle Spanky Brown used to start every morning by posting on Facebook, “Thank you God for one more day to get it right”. Every time I would see it, it would remind me to stop what I was doing and take a moment to enjoy my day, get my head right, and be thankful that I have today. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may not happen – but thank you God for today.
Make the most of today. Be Right Now
Rooting for you