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People Who Plan for the Future, Live for Each Moment

Updated on March 6, 2022
Nadine May profile image

Nadine is from Cape Town and is both a visionary fiction author, an art therapist and a graphic designer. Loves gardening, reading & writing

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Living in the Moment

The title of this article may sound like lunacy, but my favourite investment is in my dreams and the stories around them, not in any investments or insurance. We are the co-creators of our lives.

Living in the moment has its rewards, but so does planning for the future. I feel it's okay to make plans and have dreams so long as we avoid thinking about how it will all work out. Often people like me can drift off into my imagination during an activity, be it writing, designing graphics for this article or gardening, but I leave it up to the universe to decide the outcome.

We can be mindful of our present moment while planning for our future, so long as we are aware that daydreaming about fantasy lands will take us nowhere, (unless we are writing a fantasy movie script!)Whatever we are doing, we have to be in awareness of it. When we are planning for the future, we must be aware of our thoughts and behaviour at that moment.

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Greater Cape Town

In January 2018 Capetonians and surrounding populations found themselves in a huge water shortage crisis. Why? Many people who 'could' plan for the future, did not do so, and now they are panicking. They stop living in the moment due to fear and anxiety!

  • Did landlords bother to install water tanks for their tenants? If not why not?
  • Some might genuinely not have had the money to invest in water tanks, due to the lack of funds caused by having to pay off huge loans, but others are just to mean to spend money on others. These people will know who they are.

Who is to Blame?

To blame the government, teachers, bosses or our parents for our own lack of foresight is childish. Each adult individual MUST learn to take responsibility for their own lives and or step up.

Social media is rife with people who complain about the water situations in Cape Town, and yes some might be justified, but what did these people do for themselves?

There are sadly many people, like our older citizens and ill or handicapped people who rely on family, neighbors or friends to help them when the time comes for us to queue for our daily 25L of water. Many cannot carry that, let alone stand in line for it.

My respect goes to the people in rural areas who for years still have to walk for miles to collect water from a river, and do their washing by hand, while we have taken it for granted to open the taps in our homes.

See the positive in this situation. It might offer great job opportunities for people who are strong and have the time to stand in a queue with a clear written authority for whom they are collecting water.

For now, all we can do is our part as individuals and hope that Mother Nature shows mercy.

Happiness Is Not A Destination. Happiness Is A Decision.

Decide On The Reality You Want To Live!” ― WesamFawzi

Popular Expressions

For some reason, it’s also becoming more 'popular' to not plan for the future, especially in spiritual groups. They all say: you can't live in the past, or in the future because they do not exist. Totally true but...Many people misunderstand these expressions. Instead, they excuse themselves when things do not work out for them because they allow the monkey mind syndrome to take control of their life journey.

A human mind is a wandering mind and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening can be an emotional roller-coaster.

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”

― Thomas S. Monson

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Future Planning

While I enjoy the “moments” of every day I can’t help but move my mind forward by envisioning the future. Why? For me, it becomes exhilarating to think about my possible future. Both living in the moment and picturing our future can rejuvenate us all.

My article about the greywater system we installed a year ago was an example. The enjoyment of planning and doing has today many years later become a blessing. (Harvesting Rain & Greywater)

At all times pay attention to the present; surround yourselves with positive joyful people and things you love, because that way we are building a foundation for happiness.

“What matters is what we do with the life we have.”― Carrie Ryan, The Dark and Hollow Places

Visionary Storytelling is a creative way to imagine a kind of future scenario. My very first novel was written in 1995 - and published in 2001. How incredible to experience that my fiction story became a kind of vision board. Doing it for several years manifested incredible changes in my life.

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Living in the Moment

Living in the moment requires us to have hopes and dreams; something that keeps us going, something for us to work towards. If we have nothing to work towards then we tend to feel pretty useless.

Take travelling, or building a home, or planning a wedding. All these activities and many more, like writing a novel, all need some form of planning. It’s impossible to live in the moment every second of every day without having awareness of how we got there. Those people get nothing done.

Dreams and aspirations are important in order to get us from one stage of our lives to the next, and then we can have moments while enjoying the journey. Planning consciously for the future is one of the best tools to stay grounded in the present. How?

Planning IS a present-moment activity!

Mindfulness and Future Planning

Mindfulness is a mental state: awareness, attention, focus, presence, or vigilance. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing.

By focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, we become co-creators.

Whatever we are doing, we must be aware of it. When we are planning for the future, we must be the observer of our thoughts and behaviour at that moment.

Mindfulness has been proven to increase focus, productivity, creativity as well as reduce stress. If planning for the future is something you and I need to do, do it right now, then be present while doing it.

With mindful awareness, the flow of energy and information that is in our mind enters our conscious attention and we can both appreciate its contents and come to regulate its flow in a new way.

We can be mindful of our present moment while planning for our future while our mindfulness has intention, acceptance, and appreciation. That is the only place we can really live- in the present.

Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behaviour. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain — Eckhart Tolle


Conclusion

We can be present when consciously planning for the future (as opposed to being caught up, distracted and overwhelmed by thoughts of the future). Living in the moment for me means savoring the moments when we are actually living them.

It’s like soaking up the sunset without worrying about tomorrow because we took care by planning for the following sunset.

Nadine May

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