Why ‘live in the present’ is useless advice-A review

Yeah, it’s a day late, but screw it.

Last Saturday I posted my thoughts on the advice ‘live in the present’ and asked to get as much feedback as possible on it. It since became the 3rd most viewed post, behind my ‘Why you should delete your Instagram account’ and my first post about Ian Watkins, and it’s become my most commented on post, so thank you all very much for the views, comments, and opinions.

The comments seem to be split into three different groups, with a few extras on the side. There was the one side, which was essentially ‘great advice!’ (thank you), there was ‘that’s good, but…’ (thank you too), and there was a few who thought I took the line too literally (muh…I kid, thanks).

It was generally agreed that living in the past is never a good idea, except to learn from your mistakes, and that preparing, not worrying for the future, is a positive move.  However, there was a few thoughts on how living in the present/moment is a positive thing.  JB Bruno from Living In My Oblivion posted his viewpoint on the advice as a practioner of Zen:

‘In Zazen, or meditation, the focus on the breath is based in large part on the fact that the only thing that is real is this moment, and that is, literally, true. The future has not happened, and the past exists as our memory allows us to remember it. This moment, alone, is real.

This does not mean that one never plans but people with these issues tend to let the planning paralyze them, let this moment slip away. This is no way to make the future better.

It’s all in how you take it.’

Lee Geary from Bookish Guy Seeks… noted that fearing the future can be particularly unhealthy, and gave a relevant Lao Tzu quote: ‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.’

J from Project Southsea gave one of the best  quotes in my opinion; a John Lennon lyric ‘life is what happens when you’re making other plans’, meaning that sometimes people will become too focused on a goal for the future and this will cause life and opportunity to pass them by (which sounds awfully like me sometimes). Becki from Learnolism (amongst other blogs) was equally consie, saying ‘I reckon living in the present is a fair bit of advice, because you need to be able to be happy with what you have’.

The whole point of the post, other than letting off some steam, was to incite discussion about a topic that can truly make you think; something society also lacks. It was also a way to get outside thoughts on my philosophies in life, and see how they might need changing/adapting. I’ll definitely be thinking on this one for some time.

I’d like to leave with one last question, however-What would say is you defining philosophy, or philosophies, that help you lead your life?

Much love




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One comment on “Why ‘live in the present’ is useless advice-A review
  1. dsantos85 says:

    Great post and great question!

    As cliche as this may sound, one of my main philosophies in life is: Treat others as you would want to be treated by them. Here are a few gems that I also live by: “It’s not about forcing happiness; it’s about not letting sadness win,” “Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, nobody would believe it” (this one is probably one of my main ones), last but certainly not least (one of my favorites as well because I really believe in volunteering your time to help people who are less fortunate) “unless life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile.”

    As long as we strive to be the best person that we can be, everything else will just fall in place.

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