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Living IN the Moment, Not FOR the Moment

March 8, 2013

For the last few months, I have been working toward completely overhauling my life and breaking a lot of bad habits.  It’s really hard!  I’m sure no one is surprised by this.  Over the past few years, I’ve developed a lot of bad habits and bad coping mechanisms that have become routine and comfortable and the thought of not doing those things causes me anxiety.  I’ve grown very accustomed to reacting to things, both positive and negative, in unhealthy ways.

While I’ve been reevaluating, (look at your life, look at your choices), I’ve stumbled upon a distinction that I think is very important.  It is the difference between “living IN the moment” and “living FOR the moment”.

Let me explain how I view them differently.  “Living IN the moment” is being aware of your surroundings and experiences, and being able to adapt as needed.  Even though you’re going with the flow, you’re conscious of the consequences your actions could have.

“Living FOR the moment” is reacting to your surroundings and doing what you want, doing what feels good at the time, regardless of the consequences.

For the past few years, I’ve been more “living FOR the moment”.  I’ve shirked responsibilities, been rude to people I care about, and generally acted against my own best interests.  And even though I’ve enjoyed myself immensely when ordering that pizza, when skipping the gym, when going to the bar, when watching one more episode, the next morning when I’m hungover, or sick, or stressed about finances, or my house is still dirty, or I’m behind on a personal project, I’m kicking myself for my behavior the day before.  If I was “living IN the moment”, I wouldn’t be having those regrets, because I would have thought through my actions.

So, my resolution is now to “live IN the moment”, instead of “living FOR the moment”.  I have too many goals, too much potential, too much to give, and too much to learn to keep getting in my own way.

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