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?”

The 5 Hazards of Obsessing About the Past

One of your life purposes is to conquer the habit of living in the past.

That’s if you want a happier life, a life where you get what you want.

Living in the past is a strong addiction – most of us live in the past and probably always will.

But that’s no excuse to give up trying to live in the moment.

Every step brings rich rewards. Live in the past as little as possible and constantly conquer the temptation to hang out there.

“We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.”

Stephen Covey (b.1932, Author The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People)

 To help you get what you want, this is Part 2 of a 4-Part series – Why Being in the Moment Gets You What You Want

In Part 1 you learned the 10 Magic Reasons Living in the Moment Gets You What You Want

Quick review: How do you know if you are present in ‘the now’, in the moment? If you are aware of your thoughts and any emotions, then you are present and in the moment.

The 5 Hazards of Obsessing About the Past

  1. If you’re in the past it’s a challenge to create an amazing life. You’re stuck, you can’t think in new ways nor can you create a new dream or goal. You can only recycle old ones and yep, they’re now boring.
  2. If you regret your past or can’t forgive others you recycle pain and sadness, preventing you from using it to gain valuable wisdom and create a different and special new future. When you are present and in ‘the now’ there is no regret and blame is absent.
  3. If you’re in the past you’re more likely to be ill. You created illness in days gone by – in the past, and to experience it you must still be living in the past. In the past you’ll also hang onto unhelpful emotion and limiting attitudes and that brings in dis-ease, because the body can only follow what the brain is thinking i.e. if you think ‘hate’ then the body will align with hate, and therefore become it.
  4. You are fearful in the past – the body’s main focus is survival. When you are in the past, your body controls you and it endeavors to keep life the same, be overly-cautious and shun new ideas as being too dangerous. A mindset of survival is closed, limited and doesn’t think for itself – it follows the masses and feels there is safety in the masses (not true). You do not think for yourself in the past; you lose awareness. When you’re in the past there is a fear that what you think may be proved wrong and you’re uncertain about new ways of thinking. You become confused. It is only when you are present, in the NOW that you are confident, self-assured and open-minded. Continue reading “The 5 Hazards of Obsessing About the Past”