Monday, November 3, 2014

Being Happy Here And Now

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.” ― Sid Caesar

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I'm not particularly a fan of Sam Harris but this talk doesn't pertain to religion, it pertains to happiness and living in the present moment. About the difference between living and stalling. Are we truly living or are we just pretending to live? Insightful, powerful, and worth watching. Having faced numerous tragedies in my own life, you really have two choices: really live, or just avoid dying.

Be happy here and now, don't put it off.

It Is Always Now


I actually want to talk today about death...

Now most of us do our best to not to think about death but there's always part of our minds that knows this can't go on forever.

Part of us always knows that we're just a doctor's visit away or a phone call away from being starkly reminded with the fact of our own mortality -- or of those closest to us.

Now I'm sure many of you in this room have experienced this in some form. You must know how uncanny it is to suddenly be thrown out of the normal course of your life and just be given the full time job of not dying -- or caring for someone who is -- but the one thing people tend to realize at moments like this is that they wasted a lot of time when life was normal -- and it's not just what they did with their time -- it's not just that they spent too much time working or or compulsively checking email.

It's that they cared about the wrong things. They regret what they cared about. Their attention was bound up in petty concerns year after year when life was normal and this is a paradox of course because we all know this epiphany is coming.

Don't you know this is coming?

Don't you know there's going to come a day when you'll be sick or someone close to you will die and you'll look back at the kinds of things that captured your attention and you'll think, "What was I doing?"

You know this, and yet if you're like most people, you'll spend most of your time in life tacitly presuming you'll live forever. It's like watching a bad movie for the fourth time or bickering with your spouse. These things only makes sense in light of eternity -- there better be a heaven if we're gonna waste our time like that. There are ways to really live in the present moment.

What's the alternative?

It is always now, however much you feel you may need to plan for the future, to anticipate it, to mitigate the risks, the reality of your life is now.

This may sound trite but it's the truth. It's not quite true as a matter of physics, in fact there is no now that encompasses the entire universe. You can't talk about an event being simultaneously occurring here and one at the same moment occurring in Andromeda. The truth is, now is not even well-defined as a matter of neurology because we know that inputs to the brain come at different moments and that consciousness is built upon layers of inputs whose timings have to be different. Our conscious awareness of the present moment is in some relevant sense already a memory -- but as a matter of conscious experience the reality of your life is always now -- and I think this is a liberating truth about the nature of the human mind. In fact I think there's probably nothing more important to understand about your mind than that -- if you want to be happy.

The past is a memory. It's a thought arising in the present. The future is merely anticipated, it is another thought arising now.

What we truly have is this moment --

And this -- and this, and we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth. Repudiating it, fleeing it, overlooking it, and the horror is that we succeed. We've managed to never really connect with the present moment and find fulfillment there because we are continually hoping to become happy in the future.

And the future never arrives.

Even when we think we're in the present moment, we're in very subtle ways, always looking over its shoulder. Anticipating what's coming next. We're always solving a problem and it's possible to simply drop your problem -- if only for a moment -- and enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present.

— Sam Harris, Waking Up

Source: Must Triumph

My name is Sam Yang. I'm a martial artist, entrepreneur, fitness nerd, information geek, and productivity nut. For more useful information, join my newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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