How to Live in the Present Now

What is the meaning of living in the present?

Living in the present means focusing on the present moment, being aware of what is happening to you and around you, and paying attention to your actions, feelings and thoughts.

From this point of view, you look at situations as they are, without coloring them with your memories or beliefs. Living in this way, makes you more focused and in a better position to deal with your everyday life. You see things as they are, without being influenced by fears, anger, desires or attachments.

Living in the present also means living in the now, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It means letting go of the past.

When you focus on the present moment and live in it, you learn to keep a calm mind, and make no place in your mind for restless and useless thoughts, and thus, enjoy a state of inner peace.

Try watching the thoughts flowing through your mind.

What are these thoughts?

  • Are these thoughts about the past?
  • Are you enacting past events in your mind?
  • Are these just meaningless thoughts passing through your mind?
  • Are you thinking good or bad thoughts about a certain person?
  • Are you thinking or worrying about the future?
  • Are your thoughts about what someone said or did?
  • Maybe you are thinking how it would have been, if you acted differently.

Living in the present requires that you let go of these thoughts, which are like an unnecessary burden that prevents you from enjoying freedom and happiness.

If you are not living in the present moment, in the now, you are thinking of the past or the future, and you are as if not here.

If your past experiences were pleasant and positive, that is how you going to think about your future experiences. If the experiences were negative, that is how you are going to visualize your future. It is always the past recreating your life.

However, when you live in the present, you are not limited by the past and do not recreate it.

Most people repeat in their mind what someone has told them, how they were treated, and what people thought of them. It is always about the past. If you keep thinking in this way, you are letting the past captivate you and influence your behavior.

Reliving the past is recreating it constantly. You are not letting change enter your life. It is all right to recreate the past if it was pleasant, but why repeat it in your mind if it was unpleasant?

There is a story about two friends traveling by train. One was very nervous, restless, and full of complaints the whole trip. He was impatient to reach his destination, and disliked every moment of the trip. He did not pay attention to his surroundings, and did not care about the scenery and the people around him.

His friend, on the other hand, enjoyed the scenery, drank a cup of coffee, ate a piece of cake, and chatted with the other passengers. He enjoyed every moment the trip. He lived in the present moment and made the most of it. On arrival, he was fresh and felt good. His friend, as expected, arrived exhausted, tired and unhappy.

It is a matter of attitude. Life becomes a happy and enjoyable trip when one’s attitude toward it is positive, and the present moment is used in the best possible way.

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Living in the present means focusing on what is happening right now, enjoying it, and making the most of it.

Do you know how many opportunities are missed due to dwelling on the past, instead of seeing and being conscious of what is happening at the present moment?

When our mind is elsewhere, we behave like robots, and repeat the same mistakes of the past, do the same things, and then complain that our life is dull and uninteresting.

Wake up to the present moment and live in it. The past happened and passed, so what is the use of reliving it? Do you enjoy reliving it? If it is a pleasant experience that’s okay, and you might wish to relive it and recreate it in your life. Why should you repeat the same event again, if it was an unhappy one? Why do you repeat something that has caused you pain?

We are usually unaware of the process of thinking that is going on in our heads. We repeat the same thoughts as a matter of habit. They come to our mind and we do not resist them. We welcome them, even if they are unpleasant.

We get used to our thoughts and habits, even if we do not admit it. In this way, they become stronger and more powerful. As our minds recreate our past, we find that the present is always the mirror of the past. Then, nothing new happens and we complain that life is always the same and that nothing changes.

This weird, foolish, tragic and funny at the same time, isn’t it?

When you live in the present, and become aware of your thoughts and feelings, it becomes easier to be a little more detached. When you are detached, you become able to choose how to react to people, events and circumstances, and this can save you a lot of inconvenience, trouble and embarrassment.

Living in the Present Means Focusing on What You Are Doing at Each Moment

Focusing on what you are doing at each moment strengthens your powers of concentration and attention and enhances your ability to do everything more efficiently. Concentrating on what you are doing also helps you make fewer mistakes, and to conduct yourself and your affairs in a better way.

If you focus on the past, instead of living in the present moment, you allow yourself to become manipulated by past events, and by your thoughts and emotions relating to past events. On the other hand, focusing on the present moment, on what is happening or what you are doing right now, frees you of unnecessary, burdensome and unpleasant thoughts, and this leads peace of mind.

Stop reading for a moment, and bring to your mind instances, when you were engrossed in what you were doing. Did you read a book, and for a while you forgot everything else? Were you totally absorbed in a pleasant movie, enjoying your hobby, or eating very delicious food?

In these moments, you did not think about anything else. You were happy, calm and content, and free from unrelated thoughts. You were focusing on what you were doing. This is one of the meanings of living in the present.

Remember, the present moment is very brief. It always turns immediately into the past. The future has not happened. Live in the present.

Living and being aware of the present constantly, develop a new kind of awareness-consciousness. It is the awareness of freedom, of being alive, of happiness and joy. You come to realize the peace, calmness, joy and freedom from thoughts that the mystics talk about. You discover that what they talk about is nothing mysterious, mystical, or out of this life. You find that this is a most natural state.

“Refuse to relive the past. Change the video within your mind!”

“Enjoy the present moment each moment of the day”

“Find the positive, good and useful in each moment and focus on it”

“Living in the moment frees your mind unnecessary and meaningless thoughts.”

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About the Author

Remez Sasson

writes and teaches, through his articles and books, about inner growth and awakening, peace of mind, and developing one's inner powers. He is the founder of, a website about meditation, inner peace and spirituality.

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