Jan 09

One Step at a Time Toward Your Future: Live in the Present

In addition to focusing on what you do want versus what you don’t when planning to make changes, living in the present and taking one step at a time are also principles compatible with success.

We all get the planning part of the equation. The other two notions can be more difficult to grasp and/or do, however.

LIVING IN THE PRESENT

Many people, you may have noticed, tout the benefits of living in the now. This is largely because projecting your feelings into the past or future often contributes to such uncomfortable states as anxiety and depression.

Actually, states Jennice Vilhauer, PhD, in Psychology Today (“How to Be Present and Still Create Your Future”):

The reality is we can only experience thoughts and emotions in the present moment; it is the only place we exist. [emphasis mine] However, in the present you can, with conscious awareness, think about any time frame, past, present, or future. If your goal is to lead a fulfilling life, then how you allocate your thoughts in these time frames matters. The past is gone. We can never bring it back, except by bringing our attention to it. The present, no matter how awful or sweet it may be, is constantly leaving. It is what just passed. Holding on to it is impossible. The future, however, is constantly arriving. The arrival of the future and the now we live in are one and the same.

By the way, Vilhauer is the author of a new book, Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life (Future Directed Therapy).

ONE STEP AT A TIME

If you have a plan of action, what you’re living/doing right now is what’s going into making it work out—one rewarding step at a time. Once you take that first step, in other words, the positive effects of taking that step help move you toward the next one. As Pam, a character in my screenplay Minding Therapy, remarks: “Move your feet today; tomorrow your feet will move you.”

Some other quotes:

John Pierpont Morgan: “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

A.J. Darkholme: “Anything you dream [can] be yours simply because you’ve focused on the steps you could take instead of the distance to get there.”

R. J. Gonzales: “One must simply take the days of their lives as they happen. If you spend time worrying over what is to come, which may or may not happen, then you will only be wasting precious days you will wish in the future you could have cherished a bit longer.”

John Wanamaker: “One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.”

Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Oct 23

Individuality Quotes: The Importance of Being Yourself

Individuality: the quality that makes one person or thing different from all others (Merriam-Webster)

Although it’s widely accepted that individuality is an important aspect of being human, how do we cultivate this after starting out in life dependent on and undifferentiated from our parents? Somehow separation and the process of individuation gradually needs to occur.

Some Quotes Reinforcing the Need for Individuality

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Bernard M. Baruch: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Rita Mae Brown: “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

Brian Tracy: “Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.”

Lao Tzu: “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Rita Mae Brown: “About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”

Leo Buscaglia: “We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be.”

Joseph Campbell: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

Ethel Barrett: “We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Lao Tzu: “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”