Caught Between the Moment and the Immediate Future

“You have it now and that is all your life is; now. There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that?”

Ernest Hemingway

Focusing on the now is a powerful concept. When we shut out all past and future thoughts, we’re able to practice clarity and tranquility. This ensures enhanced productivity in the present.

When focusing on a task, the past and future are insignificant.

If a writer wants to write something compelling, the ability to not wander from the present thought is paramount.

Thoughts about what has happened and what’s going to happen only clutter the quality of the moment at hand. If I’m thinking about tomorrow, then where does that leave me today? Today is what’s here. Tomorrow is what’s there.

It’s important to focus on the quality of the now, while letting it gently transform itself into the future. Let the now be the future and the future be where it is, not here and now. This is a tough concept for a drifter or anyone for that matter.

As much as I love Hemingway’s quote, I still feel the need to plan and envision the following:

●  Where’s my next destination?  Sometimes I don’t know until I get to a bus station.

●  When am I moving on to the next place?  This decision has been mostly day to day.

●  Where will I stay when I get there?  I’ve been mostly showing up and winging it.

●  What will I do at my next destination? I feel the need to be more persistent in my research.

●  Why am I going there?  I need to focus on places that are of the most interest to me. Tamarindo was interesting because I wanted to see how much it had grown in eight years. Otherwise Tamarindo may not be a destination of choice for a budget-conscious, non-surfing traveler like myself.

Still, while reflecting on future thoughts, it’s important to focus on the day at hand:

●  What am I doing today?

●  How can I max this day while sticking to a budget?

●  Do I need to hire a local guide or do I save money by going solo?  It’s great to provide a few bucks to the local who can educate me and more importantly, ensure that I don’t get lost if I’m hiking.

While getting caught up in today, I can’t dismiss tomorrow:

●  When will I be ready to go beyond the travel blogging experimentation phase?

●  When will I be ready to more intensely brainstorm a niche presence that fits me?

●  Shouldn’t I be planning which region of the world to drift to after this stretch?

The list could go on and on forever. Will implies the future tense. I need to think about tomorrow too. I need to focus on the future while thinking freely in the now, while walking, riding on a bus or just pondering while surrounded by beautiful nature.

As important as the here and now is, I feel the desire find a happy medium between fully absorbing the moment and not forgetting to be a few steps ahead of the game.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Yes: Great quote. Honestly, it’s a huge challenge to focus on the present only. As of very recently, when I realize that I’m forgetting to focus on the now. I chant a little mantra to myself: The power of now! Stay in the now! Now is all that is!


  2. Posted by darren on March 27, 2011 at 22:27

    So true… and thought I’d add another quote from Dan Millman:

    “Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for”


  3. Thanks! I just love the fresh fruit surprises that pop out in front of me down here.


  4. Great capturing of the now with your pile of watermelons. 😉


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