In Walt Disney’s 1937 animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, lead character Snow White sings a song “Someday My Prince Will Come.” And, indeed, by the end of the movie, her prince did come. Someday may come in folk tales and fairy tales, but in real life, someday is not a given.
Someday is illusive. It is an indefinite point or time in the future. If we are depending on getting to something someday, we are missing out on many of our todays. Instead of pursuing someday, we need to focus our time and energy on today, on the present. Today is where it is happening! Life unfolds in the present.
In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims in a near panic, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” Gilbert writes, “It takes all of my persuasive powers to try and convince her that she is already here.” How sad for Gilbert’s friend not to enjoy and experience the beauty of the place in the current moment. We need to learn to savor the now because when we do, someday has a hard time taking over. The past and the future (someday) have a hard time entering our thoughts when we truly appreciate and live in the present moment.
When we live in the present moment, we are mindful of what is happening now. We are not distracted by the past nor preoccupied with the future. Being present minded keeps us grounded, connected, and happier. We should attempt to be in the present moment the majority of time. If we visit the past, we should have a reason for doing so like reflecting on successes and mistakes in order to gain insight. If we look to the future, it should be to plan and prepare for it. But, we should live fully in the present because today is the only day that matters.
When we live in the present moment we are ‘movers and shakers’ versus victims of time. Think about it. In the present, we do things. We are active. We have a purpose and we pursue it. Victims of time reflect on what could have been or what was and project what could be, what will be, or what might be. We want to avoid ‘could of,’ ‘would of,’ and ‘should of.’ Some things we can do to connect to the present moment include:
Slow down and enjoy life.
Turn off the autopilot.
Switch up routines.
Get lost in the flow of the immediate task.
Exercise our sense of humor.
See the bright side of life.
Look for the wonder in ordinary things.
Connect to our senses and really experience what is going on around us.
Accept things that cannot be changed.
Have an attitude of gratitude for everything and anything.
Author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment reminds us that, “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.” Tolle encourages us to have the presence of mind to recognize the importance of the present moment so that we can live in and make the most of the present moment. Having enough presence in our life allows us to focus on our todays and helps us keep the somedays, the yesterdays, and the tomorrows in perspective.