Past, present, or future?

Q: Masters, I have been on an increasingly intense emotional rollercoaster and I am not happy unless I am practically running. I find myself always in a hurry. The major highway near my home is under construction and I feel like I need to push the cars ahead of me out of the way because they aren’t going fast enough. Even when I work around the house I am in such a hurry that I seem to get things in a mess rather than straightening them up. The other day, while not paying attention, I put bleach in the washing machine instead of liquid detergent! Why is this happening to me? What can I do?

A: You are living in a time warp of expectations. You are always ready for the next thing on your list to occur before you complete your present task. Stop and smell the roses, or at least the coffee before it gets cold.

When you spend all of your time concentrating on something out of sight you miss what is around you. The label that said bleach was lost in a fury of haste. The result was repeating the wash, plus ruining your best jeans. If you had been present in the moment, totally aware of your immediate environment, you would have picked up the correct bottle and done the wash only once.

When you devote your thinking to replaying yesterday’s argument with the boss, or plotting how you are going to get back at him when you arrive at the office, your attention is not on the present and you are missing the activity around you. It is impossible to redo the past or to pre-program the future, so why not spend your time in the present?

When your consciousness is off in the past or the future, you have tunnel vision straight ahead of you. When you are aware of the present, you are able to see all your available choices for each situation.

Live in the present; impatience disappears and the world will seem larger—you are finally looking at all of it!