“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that’s why they call it the present.” – Oogway
Living in the present (Kung Fu Panda Style) So what is with the Kung Fu Panda references? Firstly I have watched these films with the kids and think they are great. Secondly they have got a lot of lessons about how to live your life in them, specifically in this case, living in the present. This quote above is a superb example of this. So let’s look at it closer.
Yesterday is history
It is amazing how much of our lives is spent thinking about the past. We worry about things we have said, things we have done but also about things we didn’t say or do. What happens when we do this? We become depressed. We may think about how we have wronged others in some way and that they will now hate us forever. The feeling that we have lost something. What happens then is that we start to over analyse the situation and start to exaggerate. What happened in the past becomes much scarier, we have ruined everything, there is no going back, it is the end of the world as we know it. This is when you need to try and be mindful of the situation, step back and look at the situation as if it isn’t your own.
- What has actually happened?
- Could you have done anything differently?
- was it YOUR fault?
- Were there extenuating circumstances?
You may just see that there was nothing you could have done to change the situation, it wasn’t your fault or that the circumstances made all the difference. Ok so you may decide that the opposite is true.
So what? Have you learned the secret of time travel and can now go back and change things for the better? No.
Tomorrow is a mystery
This is one is a lot like the first one. We worry about things that might happen. Say we are on your way to a meeting and you come up to some slow or stationary traffic. I know very few people who will not react to this situation, you can watch a change in them, you can watch as their stress levels rise. They start to think about how they are going to avoid the traffic by taking a different route further along the way or that they should turn around and go back. They start to look like meerkats, bear with me on this one, they seem to get taller in their seats and start looking around a lot ( normally to see if there is a way they can change lanes and move forward quicker). They then start making noises to alert others about the situation ( yelling and honking their horns) They may even make noises to warn others of the danger ( calling and texting others).Why do they get this way? It is all about the future that hasn’t happened yet. Anxiety. Once again you need to look at the situation as a third person.
- What can you do about it?
- Is it your fault?
You may try all the things in your power to speed up your journey only to find that you made yourself later. This is the same for many different situations.
Today is a gift that’s why they call it the present.
I am sure you’ve had people around you say things this; Don’t worry about it, what’s done is done, it’s time to move on or even things happen for a reason so it must have been fate. It seems that it is very easy to give this kind of advice but extremely difficult to follow it. This is when mindfulness is the way to go. Check out my previous posts of meditation and mindfulness. You can’t change the past or predict the future but you can decide what you do now.
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