The Insidious Trap Called ‘Live In The Present’

Often, I come across posts like ‘Why live in the present?’, ‘5 reasons to stop planning too much and start living in your present’, or articles teaching ‘10 tips to start living in the present’. Each one of them tries to influence the reader’s mind to believe in the gamut of words it has to say for the motion, or coax readers to start living in the ‘present’ rather than worrying their grey cells with the stress of making promising ‘future’.

To be precise, these all boil down to the singular mantra i.e. ‘Pluck The Day’.   

Frankly, it’s not just the content available online, but also the people from the surroundings that often give me an earful on the same theory. It’s not surprising that even phrases like ‘We shall cross that bridge when we come to it’, or ‘Just go with the flow’, are thrown at me in the times when I get out of sorts for something which hasn’t yet happened or the pressure of creating a fruitful future starts its ‘dance of the death’ in my head. But, my nerves, they never seem to rhyme to these strings.

Just to quote, my frugal nature has started getting ridiculed in public. Some call me ‘a miser’, some call me ‘a penny pincher’ – I call myself ‘economical’. I believe in the judicious use of resources, keeping future needs in mind. I agree, often I compromise with the demands of a present to secure the needs of future, which serves me with a welcoming platter of competitive debates that I can hardly resist. This demeanor of mine often gets impugned by my acquaintances too. They say, ‘Dude, what’s the point of earning if you are not spending’ but I don’t understand why can’t they understand ‘If I don’t save today, I might have to take loan from them tomorrow’, why can’t they perceive the difference between being extravagant and a frugal. Every time, I hopelessly try to defend my case in their courts, seldom leaving with the most vague arguments. Each time promising silence to myself, only to spring at the next opportunity to defend my stand.   

A few days back only, I got trapped in a heated argument with my friend over the coffee table. I asked him, “Dude, why do you drink so much?”. With a smile on his face and eyes gawking at the coffee mug, he answered “Bro, It’s not much. Of Late, I have controlled the consumption of liquor. And, when people ask me, I can’t say no so, I drink whenever being offered or asked”. After this shocking response, it took me the widest of the time frames to gain my senses, and when they did start functioning, the only thing I could say was “Dude, why are you becoming your own enemy. Your drinking habit is becoming the serious issue for your health”. Grumpily sipping the coffee, he said, “we will see when it becomes grave, let’s not discuss this any further”. And the gale of arguments subsided in me forever.

All of these small but painful incidents force me to do the revision of the concept and validate its implications. I know, when we were told to follow this, it was never meant to be followed religiously and applied everywhere. Often, we all fail to understand the clauses of this policy and how to skillfully leverage it in our aid.

Paulo Coelho once said, “One day, you will wake up and there would be no time to do things you have always wanted, So do them now”. But I’m sure, what he meant should not be taken as the permission to drink a wagon of liquor to kill yourself. Or, use all your money in buying stuff you don’t need or even desire, or gamble with it, or spend it aimlessly.

‘Live in the Present’ was aimed to act as a booster for us to take up the challenge in hands to achieve whatever we have always wanted, to be taken as an armor while invading the completely foreign land to claim it ours and build the kingdom of our dreams on it, or as a light beam guiding the way in the dark while searching for the right road in the wicked woods full of risks. Certainly, it was never meant not to be taken as the shield to cover the actions which could prove fatal and become our enemy in the  future.

We all wish to cross the bridge one day, but for that to happen, we need to reach it first. But before that, make sure you don’t run out of the fuel needed to combat the ordeals of the journey.  We all are the master of our own fate, captains of our own ship. So, better start sailing in the right direction from the port rather than to  wait for the storm, and leave ourselves with no choice but to sink and die.  



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