The idea of time travel, moving through various time points, either in the past or future, is a prevalent theme in philosophy and science fiction. The notion of time travel often prompts us to daydream about our lives' various possibilities. We often ponder whether we'd be more content if we could alter our past or whether we yearn to catapult ourselves into a brighter future.
A common human tendency is to yearn for the power to change things. We all harbor some desire to control our fate. The discomfort of past traumas and an unpredictable future can be mentally taxing. The common belief is that our happiness would increase if we could somehow alter our past or manipulate our future.
Often, people utter statements such as, “I'm sure I'd be happy now if I could just revisit the past and change what happened” or “Things will be so much better if I could just bypass everything that is currently happening and fast forward a few years into the future.” These sentiments, while seemingly harmless, do not contribute to our happiness. Instead, they divert our focus from taking necessary actions to resolve issues and enhance the happiness in our lives.
In truth, most of us understand that we can't erase our past or fully dictate our future. Therefore, if happiness is your goal, you must seize control of your present, rather than wasting time yearning to repair the past or control the future.
Embrace Happiness Today
If you don't start today, you won't be happy tomorrow. Here are a few more reasons why embracing the present moment is fundamental to your happiness.
Don't Let the Past Keep You from Happiness
You cannot fully savor life's richness and potential if you remain anchored in the past. Instead of erasing our memories, we need to focus more on the present moment – the true source of our happiness. Occasionally revisiting the past is fine, provided it doesn't become a space where you ruminate and expend all your energy.
Yearning for what has passed often leads to dissatisfaction. The past is over, and all we have left are memories. These memories often evoke a myriad of emotional responses. When we revisit these memories, we often subtly alter the events.
Whether deliberate or unintentional, we tend to embellish or omit certain elements, coloring the memory with our emotions and perceptions. Longing for things that have passed can lead to a sense of dissatisfaction, so it's better to let go of the past and focus on the present.
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Don't Let Future Worries Steal Your Joy
Worrying about the future can rob you of your happiness. Joy and worry are incompatible – they cannot coexist. Where there is worry and fear, joy and happiness cannot flourish.
Fretting about what the future holds does not give you any more control over the outcome. If you desire a better future, you need to act today, not worry. Worrying is both time-consuming and energy-draining, and it only serves to rob you of the joy of the present moment and fill you with negative emotions and anxiety. To welcome happiness, you must let go of your worries.
It's important to release the past and focus on the present. Your life is happening right now. Your power lies in this moment. You cannot fully engage with life in the present if you don't actively place yourself there – both physically and emotionally.
The secret to happiness does not lie in a time machine but within you. Your perception of life as it is now and how you spend your time are what truly matter.
How we spend our present time is what will ultimately determine our future happiness. Consider this – if you're happy today, and the same goes for tomorrow, and the day after, wouldn't that result in a series of joyous memories?
Someday, these will be your ‘good old days', if you allow them to be. Let your present moment create a happy past and future!