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All We Have

So many people live in the past or the future. The present is overlooked and lost, only to become the past itself. A repetitive cycle that can eat our lives and destroy our dreams.


Those who live in the past, focus on all their mistakes. It almost forces the individual to beat theirself up mentally.

They say things like: “I’m such a screw up. I messed up so badly. I’ll never amount to anything.”

This hyperfocus of the things that have happened also caters toward a victim mentality. It allows for the use of the past to excuse the present situation.

“Because (this) happened, I was forced to act (that way) and now I am (this type of person).”

But guess what. The past is gone. It’s untouchable. It’s now just a memory and often misremembered anyway. A fitting quote (though I typically see it as an excuse) is: ‘It is what it is.’

Let it go! If you made a mistake, forgive yourself and/or ask others for forgiveness. Then…move on! Did another hurt you? It doesn’t define you and it’s not your fault. There is nothing we can do to change any of the past. Dwelling on what has happened to us or by us just doesn’t allow for growth.


Those who live in the future, are missing the point of existence. The future is pure imagination! It is impossible to predict with certainty what will happen. Sure we can plan and push toward our goals and what we want, but in the end, anything can happen and derail all our work. If I tell myself that I will walk to the kitchen, but then on the way there I trip over something and break a bone, then the way I saw the future playing out was wrong.

I’m not saying that planning for the future and working toward future goals is wrong. On the contrary, it is essential for growth. But focusing so hard on only the future makes us miss our life. How many parents look back and say, ‘I wish I’d paid more attention to my kids when they were younger.’? And no one will say at the end of their life, ‘I wish I’d worked more and spent less time living my life.’

Plan, prepare, and live in the now!


The present is all we have. It is the only tangible. The only thing that we have absolute control of. It is only in the present that we decide what we say, do, or think. If I have a goal, it is only in the present that I have any capability to work towards it.

When we live in the present, we get to really ‘live’. We experience in the present. We learn in the present. We change in the present.

The past is only to remind us of where we came from and what lessons we need to learn. Learn and live it now.

What would your future self want to tell your present self? It’s probably not to just keep living for the future. I imagine my future self would tell me, “You want to be this type of person and you want to achieve these goals. So live that way now. And enjoy it!”

In my opinion, the number one way of starting to change our lives into the lives we want is to be mindful of this one phrase:

All we have is the here and now.


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