How do You Know if You are Living in the Past?

If you live in the past, you don’t get what you want.

When you are consciously present in the moment you get what you want.

So, if you want to leave behind living in the past… read on to discover how.

To help you get what you want, this is Part 3 of a 4-Part series – Why Being in the Moment Gets You What You Want.

In Parts 1 and 2 you learned the 10 Magic Reasons Living in the Moment Gets You What You Want and The 5 Hazards of Obsessing About the Past.

Question: How do you know if you are living in the moment, in ‘the now’?

Answer: If you are aware of your thoughts and emotions, then you are present and in the moment.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977, French-Cuban author)

Listed below are 27 everyday situations, clues to help you recognize when you are living in the past. Along with each clue is what you’d do if you were instead ‘being present’.

By the way, you’ll notice that living in the past is largely driven by unhelpful emotion whereas emotion disappears in the present… you are calm.

27 Everyday Clues: You are Living in the Past When:

  1. You react to circumstances without thinking; you impulsively judge a situation as good or bad. For example, you receive an email and instantly judge the contents as one way or the other. Being present: You acknowledge that you don’t yet fully understand the bigger picture – you allow whatever it is to be part of a greater outcome for you.
  2. You judge differences as good or bad. You may have a preference and go for what you want, but if something is not ideal or good for you, it isn’t therefore ‘bad’. Being present: You allow situations or options to just ‘be’ neither. You have no reaction.
  3. You speak without thinking, without awareness. Do you ever say, ‘I am sick of…’, ‘I’d die for a…’? Being present: You’re aware of what you’re saying – you say only that which you truly want.
  4. You expect something bad to happen, ‘because it always does’. Being present: You know that you create only the best for you – getting what you want becomes a habit, a healthy habit.
  5. You don’t want to change i.e. you avoid new ideas, you won’t accept responsibility for your circumstances, you refuse to see yourself in others, you want life to stay the same, you want people to feel sorry for you. Being present: You’re flexible, willing to learn and invite change – you see change as an opportunity for adventure and greater happiness. Also read Discover the First Key Element to Getting What You Want.
  6. You can’t let go of controlling a circumstance and its outcome. Being present: You create what you want and allow it to unfold in the most ideal way, uniquely for you.
  7. You can’t accept someone for who they are. Do you constantly try to change people e.g. your partner, child, friend? Being present: You allow others to be who they are and instead look only to changing yourself to satisfy the lack you notice in them. By doing this you give others the gift of acceptance and yourself an opportunity to grow. How to do this is in my book “How to Get Anything You Want – Just Like That!”
  8. You control others, their life. Being present: You’re at peace with how others choose to live their lives and how they choose to behave. You receive the same gift from others.
  9. You can’t let someone go e.g. a friendship, partner. Being present: You calmly know that as one person leaves your life you’re inviting someone else in – someone more suited to who you have become and who will help you grow in different ways.
  10. You are ungrateful or unappreciative; seeing only what you don’t have, not seeing the bigger picture. Being present: You choose to notice what you already have, especially those aspects of your life you’ve taken for granted.
  11. You are arrogant. Do you ever think you are better than others, that you deserve preferential treatment? Being present: You know that you are equal to others, regardless of your wealth, job, family name etc.
  12. You are dishonest i.e. you cheat and/or lie. Being present:  You know you can always accomplish what you want more easily through honesty and impeccability – if you allow it. And you’ll be proud of yourself.
  13. You avoid telling the truth to family, friends or in business because it makes you uncomfortable and because of the potential judgement and consequences you face. Being present: You know you are only truly free if you can speak your truth. If you hide the truth of who you are, you create a prison for yourself.
  14. You are angry or jealous. Being present: You are always calm in the present and can clearly view a situation from all perspectives.
  15. You feel you don’t have enough of something e.g. lack of money, love, happiness. Being present: You know that what you think, you create. Instead of focusing on lack and therefore creating lack, you focus on what you want and enjoy that instead.
  16. You can’t forgive and you blame others for your life. This includes blaming government and corporations as well as friends and family. Being present: You take back your power by taking responsibility for what has happened and you then create the future you want.
  17. You seek revenge. Being present: You consciously release thoughts of revenge, forgive the person and in doing so free yourself from a self-created prison. (Note: Revenge is an especially dangerous activity as it locks you into hate and catapults you into more heartache… and disease.)
  18. You are impatient. Being present: When you choose patience, you are present. There is ‘no time’ in the present and you know that forcing a circumstance robs you of its full potential.
  19. You feel inadequate or worthless. Being present: You are who you want to be and are proud of it. When you are present you stand tall, you do not compare yourself to others and you do not buy into other people’s expectations. Also read 10 Reasons Loving Yourself Gets You What You Want.
  20. You don’t approve of yourself. Being present: You accept yourself for everything you say and do; there is no judgment of yourself. You know that you are always becoming greater and that you’re always doing your best.
  21. You are bored and frustrated. Being present: You take action to deal with being bored, you choose to learn what boredom really means and are willing to change to eliminate it. Boredom and frustration disappear from your life. Also read How to Turn Boredom and Frustration into Happiness.
  22. You feel you must please others to be accepted and to gain approval. Being present: You’re strong, confident and secure in yourself. You know what you want to do; you do what you want to do. Note: in some cultures it may be dangerous to do what pleases you – in these cases, focus on doing more of what you want without endangering yourself. There are many books which now cover this subject. Knowledge is always a vital first step and new knowledge opens your mind to new potentials, this naturally starts to create new opportunities for you. Always remain aware that above all, you are entitled to do what you want, no-one has the right to dictate your future, and that there is always a way through. Also read 8 Ways You Will Change Your Life When You Ask for What You Want.
  23. You allow others to make decisions for you. Do you do what others say is good for you, without questioning it? Being present: You are alert and aware that only you are entitled to make decisions that affect your life.
  24. You are worried and anxious. Being present: You choose to learn how to create what you want and then take action to do so. You take control of your life. Knowledge builds confidence and eases worry.
  25. You regret or feel guilty about a situation e.g. about an altercation or your behavior. Note: here the idea is to learn and gain wisdom from situations but not to feel regret or guilt. Being present: You allow a circumstance to just ‘be’. Beating up on yourself does great harm and zero good.
  26. You think life is unfair. Being present: You know that you create your life, that we all create our lives for ourselves. You release comparisons to others and instead get on with creating what you want.
  27. You are not achieving what you want. Being present: You take action to intentionally create what you want. In order to move into what you want faster, avoid living in the past! Also read How to Take Action to Get What You Want.

 “The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950, Irish Playwright)

So Remember…

Make it your intention to be aware of your thoughts and emotions. Release unhelpful emotions – my book “How to Get Anything You Want – Just Like That!” shows you how to do that. The more you release those emotions and move on from the past, the faster you move into your bright, exciting, newly created future.

Next: It’s not ideal to ‘live in the future’ either, the next post explains why: The 6 Hazards of Waiting for a Different Future.

Related Reading:

Part 1 – 10 Magic Reasons Living in the Moment Gets You What You Want
Part 2 – The 5 Hazards of Obsessing About the Past
Part 4 – The 6 Hazards of Waiting for a Different Future

Do you want inspiration, as well as easy steps to get anything you want? Janet breaks with the traditions of today and reveals the hidden truth of ancient wisdom; that you are the most important person in your life. Her book exposes several hidden, entrenched social rules which limit your life and then shows you how to liberate yourself from these restrictive beliefs. Check out Janet’s book online “ How to Get Anything You Want – Just Like That! .

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