“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
As an ambitious, driven, high-minded sort of person, my mind races often. I think, I dream, I envision, I fantasize. What could I do with my life in five years? Ten years? Perhaps I could own real estate, be a speaker, finally publish a book. I could go skydiving, sell my company, start more companies.
The list of possibilities is endless. It is exciting. It is daunting. And sometimes, it is a temptation that keeps me away from my life.
In his landmark book, The Power of Now, spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle seeks to push us into the moment we are presently in. There are many distractions from the current moment. It’s easy to become distracted by the past: dying screams of regret, what ifs, anger and bitterness. But what I am learning is that it is equally possible to become distracted by the future.
For those of us who are dreamers, creatives, thinkers: the future is a tempting playground. We believe we are great minds because we discuss ideas, not events or people. But the reality is that we are only finding another distraction from the present world we live in.
I’m not sure why, but escaping the moment is the greatest temptation we face. Almost all of our emotions try to drag us away. Regret, remorse, and what-ifs drag us into the past. Excitement, fear, and ambition pull us into the future. How is it that even the brightest people are desperate to escape?
What makes us so afraid of the moment? Why is every trap trying to drag us away?
Take some time to breathe. Be grateful for the moment you’re in. The beauty and art around you is there now. I’m trying to do this myself. As I sit here in my room, pulled in a million directions by things I “should” be working on, phone calls I “should” be returning, things I am waiting for and wishing for, I am slowly coming to the realization that this very moment is beautiful.
My ambitions for the future are amazing. But right now, the sun is shining through the window. I’m typing on a brand-new laptop I love very much, feeling the sun’s warmth and listening to the birds in the trees outside. My body has some flaws. Sickness, soreness, tiredness. But it is awake, it is alive, and it is on fire with excitement for life.
This moment, this very moment, is beautiful. And I am so grateful for it.