“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha
Too often we get caught up in the past or the future and lose focus on the present. We think about lofty goals or once we get a raise/promotion/new car etc., but all this does is cause us to lose focus on what matters most, the present.
When you start to transform your life by adjusting your systems and habits, you will see that suddenly everything has its place and time. You are not worried about work at home and yet feeling guilty at work because you would rather be with your family. Once you build the systems in your life to address your most important goals, you can stop worrying about the future or dwelling about the past.
Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching that “there is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, and a time for being in danger.”
Even the bible says that there is a time for everything and everything in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:1). This idea transcends religious beliefs and is important for us to truly understand.
Spencer Johnson (author of Who Moved my Cheese) wrote about being in the present in his book The Present. In it he provides advice and says “even in most difficult situations, when you focus on what is right in the present moment it makes you happier, and gives you the needed energy and confidence to deal with what is wrong.
Regardless of what your goals are, learn to focus on the present and build systems that will take you where you want to go. This will allow you to remain content and happy but still work towards your goals.