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. Continue reading “How do You Know if You are Living in the Past?”