12.07.2009

"Time by moment steals away

First by hour, then the day.
On thine eyelids is the shadow of death."

Often, we are grimly reminded of our mortality as human beings... Some of us more often and to a higher degree than others.
As for me, I think about my future often (in this lifetime, as well as beyond it) and I base many of my decisions on how I see myself five, ten or fifty years from now... but, I wonder, how does one's perspective of time effect the way they live their life? Is it really a significant factor in the decisions we make every single day?

You can clearly see where I'm making this connection by just observing the different people in your life... Someone who is stuck in their past (positively or negatively) are often turned off by any sort of change in their lifestyle or beliefs. I think the best example lies in elderly people; they grew up in a certain fashion, and object to learning much more of anything. It's very simple to see why... People of a certain age are not apt to being future oriented simply because in their future lies an end to their life. There comes a point in one's life when it is just more practical to live in the past (or present.)

It is also clear to observe someone who lives in the moment. The past is already a dream, and the future is unpredictable. People like this tend to be much more impulsive - buying that new pair of jeans rather than saving up for a future. Someone caught up in the moment are more likely to make decisions that satisfy the "now." Eating an ice cream sundae, smoking a cigarette (or even marijuana), drinking a beer or gambling... The consequences of the future are a minute factor in their decision making, if even a factor at all.
However, I do not mean to denounce the lifestyle of living in the present - in fact, I believe that every person should have a healthy balance of these traits. Being able to take risks, relax or let go of past experiences are all healthy and recommendable habits for one's psyche.

One last observation to make is a person who is strongly future-oriented. Someone who plans, plans, plans and continually works hard towards an indeterminate future. Typically a person like this leaves little time to let loose because there's always work left to get done; there's always something else they can do to inch their way towards their goals... This isn't necessarily a bad thing - a person caught up in this perspective will often reach success, but will they achieve happiness?
To me, it all depends on what goal they're attempting to reach, and how they are getting there. For example, a person who wishes to acquire success in literature may spend much of their free time writing and experimenting and creating. I believe that it would be safe to say that this is something they enjoy doing, as it is what they see themselves doing for the rest of their life, and so in this perspective, is being consumed in one's life work damaging or beneficial?
It all comes down to this: When a person becomes obsessed with the goal, and forgets about the journey, this is when the process becomes faulty... When someone lives their life in this way, I can guarantee that they will look back upon their life and regret the moments they could have had, but missed because they forgot about living in the moment.

At the end of everyone's path is death... This is not meant to be a solemn and depressing statement, but a reminder of one's mortality.

Take moments from the past; learn from them and apply them to decisions you make now. Do not dwell in these memories, however. For they are simply memories.
Live and glorify each and every moment - because "now" is the only reality in your life; the only thing you can be sure of is what you are experiencing "now." Do not dwell in these moments, however. For today's pleasure is tomorrow's regret.
Remember that you are creating your future with each decision you make. Be conscious of what you want to achieve, and work towards a future that you will love. Do not be afraid of change, however. For tomorrow is something that you will never be able to foresee.

I am Lion; Hear me Roar.