The Modern Mind, A Slave to the Future & Past with No Ability to Live in the Present

All too often we are so focused on where we will be in the future, or frustrated about how we handled something in our past, that we are never able to focus on the present. This ultimately leads to a continuous loop of;

wasting the present moment, focusing on our poor past decisions, which therefore will never allow us to view ourselves in a bright future.

If only we all could focus on the present. The first step of that is to become happy with ourselves. If you are happy with yourself you should be confident in your choices, therefore you are rarely upset with past decisions, & ultimately view yourself in a positive light in your future.

In my years of practice I’ve found that most if not all patients that come in seeking treatment for pain or injury have underlying stressful situations going on in their day to day lives. All of them seem to fall within 4 Categories.

Do They Love what they do?

Typically the person feels pressure via family or society to stay in their current situation. Maybe taking a pay cut to get out of an unhappy job is just not possible to retain a current lifestyle? Or their identity is wrapped up with someone else and separating that relationship leads down a road of unhappiness and constant struggle. Spending time on social media and daydreaming about a future relationship or job is common. Kicking themselves in the butt for past choices ensues. They spend a lot of time embarrassed about past choices, future and struggle with staying in the present.

Do they feel they are good at what they do?

They tend to feel stressed or uncertain about starting something new. Sometimes it’s a new relationship or job. They beat themselves up for not trying new things and have created the mental image about themselves that they are no good so why try. These types fear their future failure so much they let it impact their present. They focus on past faults to feed in to the potential future failures.

Do they Feel what they do serves others?

These people feel useless in life at times and may take on “fixer” roles with relationships or family in order to feel useful. Most of the time these types trick themselves in to thinking that all of their fixing is a “good thing” rather than looking more deeply in to why they “fix”. This is where I struggle the most. Probably the most likely reason I do what I do for a living.

Do they feel properly compensated for what they do?

They are so focused on their future financial success that they let it consume their present. Just look at the numerous people that work their life away forgetting about their family and friends. They spend all their years “working for them”, making sure that they will be taken care of financially in the future. These types typically use past financial struggles as fuel to fire their obsession with making money. Continuing to tell themselves that it will all be worth it in the end. They forget this mentality consumes the present. One thing I’ve never heard my older patients say is “I wish I worked more”.

I think the key is to find balance in all of these. Personally I wonder if it is possible to “stay” balanced. I know for me, it is always a continuous swaying from one side of the scale to the other. What I do think is possible is becoming self-aware of your own shortcomings. Realize and become honest with your own sensitivities. If you are unwilling to notice which way the scale is tipping you can never expect to create change.