As leaders, it is very easy to get caught up thinking about the future. When is the next opportunity going to come? When are people going to recognize your product so it can be a hit? When are you going to find that breakthrough you are looking for? When are you going to get that next promotion? How can you make your vision into a reality? As you think about everything you are looking forward to, it can be hard to think about the present.
I heard a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that identified how important it is to live in the present.
I don’t worry too much about the future, and I don’t worry very much about the past. The past is gone, and you can’t change, you can’t correct it. The future, you can anticipate, but you can’t necessarily do very much about it. It is the present you have to deal with. Reach out for every good opportunity to do what you ought to do.
~ Gordon B. Hinckley
Learn From the Past
I like that the quote says that, “the past is gone, and you can’t change, you can’t correct it.” Too many people live in the past and can’t seem to let go of their glory days. The past is gone and it is time to move forward.
You can, however, learn from the past. Reflect on the past to see and understand your mistakes, challenges you encountered, and progress you made. Look at each of the things you did in the past and identify why you had the results you had. By identifying the “Why,” you can do what you need to to be effective in the present.
Prepare for the Future
“The future, you can anticipate, but you can’t necessarily do very much about it.” This portion of the quote can easily be taken out of context. The future will always be the future and you can’t do anything about it. You can only live in the present to prepare for the future.
Look at what you are doing today and identify if you are doing what you need to do right now so that you can have the future that you envision. If you can confidently say that you are doing the right things now for the future you envision, you are on the right path. However, if you are not doing the right things now, you must change your actions today to prepare for the future.
Live in and Focus on the Present
What you do in the present is all that is within your control. You can only control what you do here and now. As you live in the present, think about and focus on the aspects of your life within your control. Take advantage of each and every moment, so you get the most out of life.
Additionally, if there is something that is not within your control, don’t worry about it. You can only control yourself and your own actions. You cannot control others or their actions, so don’t try to do that. You can control your own actions so choose to do good and influence others.
Since you can learn from the past and prepare for the future, you should make good decisions today right in this moment to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.
What do you do to live in the present? Are you living life to its fullest? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!