Living in the moment — The subtle art of ignorance?

It is not foreign for one to worry and fret over what the future holds for them, and is even more so common to dwell in memories of the past. The future brings with it a mystery, curiosity of what and how one would be, and the promise of fulfilled dreams. On the contrary, the past holds comfort, a solace of knowing how things unfold, and hence it is inevitable to constantly go back to it.

Amid these frequently shifting thoughts of the past and the future, it has become an instinct for people to neglect their present. They forget to enjoy the moments as they happen and only reflect on them before or after they have passed. But, what an individual is bound to realize over time is that the present is a gift they receive, to open and cherish as it keeps coming.

The ability of the human mind to gradually numb the heightened peaks and troughs of emotions, is a present that allows us to move forward and get about our lives. But rebels as we are, the fondness to hold dear, often the fabricated versions of the moments we cherish to escape from the reality provide us a momentary sense of satisfaction. Similarly the traumas we refuse to let go of because we’re scared to be vulnerable again, to abstain from experiencing the same unbearable pain all over, hinder our growth.

Future, the harbinger of hopes that turn into expectations and uncertainties that keep us on the edge, elevates our anxiety of how life will unfold as time slips through the gaps between our fingers. As we lose ourselves, fantasizing and often worrying about what lies ahead, the grip over the leash of serenity weakens, soon after which, the shards of regrets scar our conscience as we struggle to begin again.

There’s no end to the vicious cycle of appreciating the present only when it has turned into the past. Breaking the habit? It all starts with being self aware and mindful of the everyday moments we have been taking for granted. Instead of sulking over failures and dwelling on daily trivialities that over the ruthless passage of time are wiped off from even the darkest corners of your memory, treading upon the path that allows us to learn from our lows and letting the virtue of ignorance take over our subconsciousness, allows us to take hold of and cherish every aspect of our life.

In practice, what is very easy to preach turns out to be a task to follow. It seems daunting to let go of the burdens of the past and to not ponder over the uncertainties held by the future. However, to live life to the fullest in the present, it becomes imperative for one to master this subtle art of ignorance.

It is best to incorporate this ignorance into one’s daily life, which can start with acceptance. You now have no control over what happened in your past, and any amount of pondering on it will not change what has already occurred. Accepting this fact will help keep past memories at bay, and one would be more able to live happily in the present.

Thinking about the future is important, as you need to be prepared for the hurdles life will throw your way, letting go of your present for the same is not the way ahead. Dreams won’t work until you do, and one should hence focus on building the future for themselves in the present, rather than worrying about the curveballs they might face as they reach it.

The key hereby is to maintain a balance between getting lost in the ruminations of our past and future and maintaining the integrity of our present. Planning ahead of time but cutting back on the expectations from the outcome, allowing ourselves to be free of the rules we’ve set in stone and embracing the uncertainties of life provide for a better living environment to thrive.

Washing away our sins and letting our burdens drown, keeps us afloat to the surface, to resume floating in the vastness of nothingness. The best part of it all, as we savor every second of every minute, we allow our future self to be indebted to our present self as we work through the daily grind with sheer sense of empowerment and control over our life.

TEDxIITGuwahati is an extraordinary event that invites innovators and thinkers from various background enlighten the common folks with their radical ideas.

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