Why ‘Live in the moment’ is bad advice

“Living in the moment” as an idea is often misunderstood. It is misinterpreted by people who practice rash and impulsive behavior while completely disregarding the future; going to any limits for the sake of temporary pleasure. This takes form in many ways including chronic procrastination, usage of intoxicating substances and rash social behavior which could escalate into severing of relationships.

Examples include ignoring studying for an important exam, missing that important opportunity to grow your knowledge/career/business, making bad lifestyle choices that will lead to ill health, letting petty differences ruin personal and professional relationships etc. We need to substitute temporary pleasure for long term pleasure.

The true meaning of the phrase ‘live in the moment’ actually means being present; not letting your past and future worries meddle with your experience of this moment. It ties to the concept of mindfulness. Being mindful is being totally immersed in your activity. It is a meditation practice and is very effective for getting into a calm and happy state of mind. Mindfulness Meditation requires us to have complete control over our mind. The ability to deflect all unnecessary thoughts is the gateway to peace.

We take great pride in our ability to multitask- to do a bunch of activities at once. What we don’t understand is that multitasking makes us “feel” more productive but we actually end up doing none of those activities effectively. How many times have we been guilty of watching TV and scrolling social media at the same time? Could we actually focus on any one of them? Probably neither. How about when we tried to study while texting our friends? Could we really focus on studying?

Think back to that times when you were completely immersed in your studies or your work. How you felt one with the job at hand and nothing could distract you away from it. How good you felt when it was done! There’s nothing like it!

I believe mindfulness is a superpower we can all acquire. Imagine, being able to completely focus on your work for long periods of time, your mind immune to that smartphone or what’s going on outside your work. This also helps in getting the job at hand get done faster and more efficiently.

We need to realize the true meaning of living in the moment as mindfulness. We need to base our actions today to future consequences. Of course this doesn’t mean worrying about the future so much that you lose focus of the present. There has to be a healthy balance.

So go on, try it. Whatever you do today, do it with complete focus. Be it studying, cooking, walking, doing chores, whatever. When someone talks to you, give your undivided attention to their words. Don’t think about a response or a counter question. Just listen.

Experience the present moment. You’ll never get back this moment, it’s precious. Savor it.

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Book recommendation for this week:

Deep work


Deep work will teach you how to quit multitasking, focus on your task completely and get much more work done than you ever did. The concept is so simple, yet it fascinates me how often we overlook it. The book provides good details on how to get deep work done and offers a plethora of examples of people who use the techniques successfully. Click on the image to buy!


Do check out the entire list of book recommendations on top of the home page titled “Best books”. If you are on mobile devices, click on “Menu” on the home page and then “Best books”.


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Prapti says:

    Excellent article…This taught me many things like.. we should substitute temperory pleasure for long term pleasure, living in the moment means not worrying of future, no thinking of past and just focus on the present and do the present work with mindfulness…Really excellent one.

    Liked by 1 person

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