This is a philosophical post. But I wouldn’t write it if I don’t think that it could help your personal life. The present is the time you’re in at the moment. You’re reading this post. Staring at the screen and thinking whether you should really read that post. The present is the most interesting and also most important time. Because it is the only time you can act in. The past is ONLY here to learn. There is nothing else about it. If I would go really philosophical I could say: You don’t even know the past happened. You also don’t know much about the future. The only thing is the present.
But how could this help you in any way? I run into many people talking. They are saying stuff like: “I should never have gotten married/children.” or “When I had studied more I would have passed the exams.” There are many more of those statements. They talk about the past. But in a non-constructive manor. You know there are things in the past that help you for the present. But those don’t. Me myself just got rejected by many master programs but I don’t think too much about it. I am in the present. I have to move on. And the faster I am able to move on the further I can go. So I only think about the consequences of the past. So I need to look for another masters-program. I think about what was wrong with my applications. But I don’t wast too much time, because it was not clear why I have been rejected. So next time I make a better application and repeat the whole process. I’m not sad about the past. So only think about the past for a short time. As long as you really think you can extract any information from it and move on.
But what about the future? Isn’t the future the present of tomorrow? Yes it is. And you have to think about it. But don’t think too much. The present is much simpler. For example you can think too much about the future. You can make plans year for year but you can’t guarantee anything about it. So in reality there are two types of decisions to make. The ones where the present is changing and you have do decide “What now?” and the ones where you realize something new and you have to decide whether you change anything about your life. The last one can also be more subtile, like “Should I start studying now or later?” But the more you think about it the more you see that there are only these two. The one that can come at any time. A moment of realization that you were slacking around and than the decision to do something about it or to reject any change. So you are deciding for the future. You are always only deciding for the future. But the decision is in the present and if you can live in the present you will have a hard time making decisions.
Last but not least I want to tell you how I cope with this. And how I managed to stay most of the time in the present. (It is not the “Power of Now” Present. Your mind is allowed to wander, and to think all the time.) The main trick to achieve most things is to make yourself an emotional bond to the thing you want. This looks like this for me. Whenever I am complaining about the past or worrying about the future. I get intentionally upset when I realize it. Like playing a role. Like I discipline myself. After some time and some realizations it worked for me to get automatically upset about complaining. The downside of that is that I also get upset when others complain but well I just hold myself back.