BY MICHAEL REISIG –
It seems nowadays we spend more time recalling the past and worrying about the future, and less time living in the present. It’s a lot like rushing through dinner so you can get to dessert. But the truth is, dessert isn’t going anywhere, and all you’re really managing to do is make dinner less of an event.
I like to think that every day I get up and see a rising sun on the horizon, I have an unparalleled opportunity to create a new future. The past is what it is, either a specter or a daydream. The present is my own making, and the future is a chance to change it all. Destiny is a lot more choice than chance. It’s not something that you should be given, like a consolation prize. It’s to be achieved every day. But, the truth is, some of us can be our own worst enemies, belligerently rushing headlong into life without looking both ways at the stoplight. When that happens, it seems like destiny has two ways of enlightening us – by refusing our wishes, or by fulfilling them. One of my favorite quotes is that of the American humorist Arnold Glasow: “Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for in the future.”
Part of the reason a lot of folks have such a difficult time being happy in the here and now is that they have a tendency to see the past better than it was, the present worse than it really is, and the future more convoluted than it will actually be. Then there are those who just want to escape the present by living in the past. If you’re living in the past, you’re not making any future. If you’re constantly dreaming on how it might be someday soon, you’re using up the future while trying to escape the present. (I know that’s convoluted – you have to think about it.)
Sometimes many of us have a hard time letting go of the past so we can live in the present, and some of us are so locked into the future we’re not enjoying the present. You’ve got to know when to hold up, when to fold up, and when to walk away. Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of knowing when to turn the page.
Here’s the thing you need to remember, treat every day as if it was your last, as if there were no past and no future. Reach out for all the things that fill your heart. Don’t be a spectator. Don’t stand in the bleachers applauding. Be that person on the field who just hit the home run or scored the winning touchdown. Because the only thing you’re really sure of is now. Be the one who makes your past worth recalling and your future worth living, and remember what business icon Jack Welch said; “Control your destiny, or someone else will.”