Missing out on the present means missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you. And you don’t want to wind up regretting that you missed out on an opportunity because you weren’t paying attention. Because that would mean your Future Self will one day be stuck in the past… just like how your Present Self might be stuck in the past right now.
Basically, you can also think of the past this way: Imagine the past is your favorite dessert. Eating it occasionally is fine. But eat too much and you won’t fit in the present.
Which brings me to what I was watching on Netflix today: the comedian Dean Cole. He was talking about how too many people don’t live in the now.
Dean Cole shared a story about the time when he’d struck a big deal with some agents. He suggested they all go out and celebrate. He was going to drive. But the agents refused to enter his car, a Mercedes-Benz. He didn’t understand why. Later he found out that they didn’t get into his car because his car was German-made. The agents were Jewish… And then Dean Cole – a Black American – likened the situation to that of a doctor that has just given him an injection and is about to apply cotton on his skin but he refuses to let the doctor touch him with cotton.
There’s nothing to be gained from holding onto the past. That doesn’t mean you should forgot your history. As they say, those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it. Personally, the best way to forget the past is to do something absorbing in the present. What can you do right now that is interesting and meaningful to you? What specific activity will absorb your attention? Maybe a good book. Or learning a new language. Blogging does the trick for me. Find what works for you.