The Land of WHEN…

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” -Eckhart Tolle

Are you living in the distant land of WHEN, postponing a state of happiness or action until something else is perfect?  WHEN I lose weight, I’ll have the confidence to do this. WHEN I have more work experience, I’ll be taken seriously. WHEN I get into shape, I’ll feel good about my body. WHEN I have financial stability, I’ll finally be able to relax.

Consider instead the land of WHAT IF: WHAT IF you are good enough as you are, right now? WHAT IF someday is today? WHAT IF not trying is worse than the possibility of failing? WHAT IF you already had everything you need to be happy? What if, as Agnes de Mille writes,  instead of waiting for things to be perfect, you already “Dance in the body you have”?

dance

Future Thinking

time angel

We have such a strange relationship to this man-made concept called time. Some people obsess about the past, constantly reliving their glory days or seething with anger over something that happened years ago. Others live in a future-projected state, planning, preparing or fretting over every possible scenario.

According to The Time Paradox, an excellent book based on the psychology of time, people who are able to live in the present most of the time while balancing their past and future perspectives are the most fulfilled.

When it comes to health, the commonly accepted notion is that how you live today influences how you live tomorrow.

According to health warrior and cancer survivor Kris Carr,

Your future is being written with every meal.

Yet while most people are aware that their actions influence their future, it can be difficult to make the trade off between IMMEDIATE PLEASURE (polishing off that bag of chips) and DISTANT PLEASURE (eating a carrot for future health).

Here are 2 simple ways of dealing with this:

1. Identity what being healthy actually means for you.

This could be ‘I want to feel good in my body’ or ‘I want to have the energy to play with my grandchildren’. Focusing on this is less distant and more motivating than simply thinking about future health.

2. Make small changes, one at a time and make them pleasurable.

This isn’t always easy, but I firmly believe that healthy habits can become a source of pleasure with the right guidance and that this is the only way habits stick.