If you have happened to live in a city in India belonging to a relatively middle of the middle class, “living in the moment” must not be a new phrase for you. This is what your friends would say when you go and party over drinks on a weekend; this is what the singer at concert would emphasize and asks you to lose yourself out and enjoy the ‘moment’. This is possibly what you might be fooled into considering that it helps to boost your small ego for a short ‘moment’ that you are finally ‘enjoying’ and making at least use of this one moment of life.
Building forward, this entire phrase, if I may put this way, is based on two assumptions. One, that if you capitalize on these ‘moments’ of life, and sum it together, this shall make your life seem fruitful and worth living. It works on the principle of linear summation of your ‘lived’ moments that can thus make you feel happy about your existence. The second assumption, which is more dangerous of what my instincts tell me, is a belief that you can’t enjoy your entire life as there are certain barriers and obstacles in the way you are living be it in the form of your monetary limits or your unhappiness at work or your social relationships or many more such things. It also has a huge element of unpredictability. Explaining it a little, I often have heard a common sentiment of how we cannot control what will happened with us the next moment, so let us just concentrate on what we have right now and enjoy fully with the same.
Although I would really want to spend some time thinking over the first assumption, but it’s currently the second assumption that bothers me to an extent that I write this as a blog. Before it gets too theoretical and un-connectable, let me illustrate some specific problems I have with the second assumption.
For the people who agree with me on the belief that the larger part of your life is not what you enjoy doing and yet do it because of certain constraints and therefore want to ‘live the moment’ of joy and an act of forgetting your real life, there is just a small submission from my end. My purpose is not to counsel but you do realize you belong to the worst case scenario. If I may put it simply, ‘living the moment’ is definitely not going to make you escape your tragic scenario. (You might even loose out if living in joy for life is a linear summation rule because moments will be little and your larger part of the life is what you are unhappy with). Without missing the point of risk averse behaviors, circumstances and situations where it may not always be possible to move out of a certain scenario you dislike, I would suggest you to invest the energies and resources of these ‘moments’ that you believe you are living, in finding opportunities of work to move towards where you want to be. Simply stating, if you don’t like to write a blog or an opinion piece (if that’s your job), then do that till you could find opportunities of transition to do what you want by capitalizing on the moments you can steal from your daily routine.
The unpredictability concern, being the part of the second assumption that a lot of people have with their future is surely a genuine concern. But let me put this as crisply as possible. There is a decent possibility for me to never become a great chef, (I am not saying the best chef amongst the group, because that’s an aspirational disorder I would like to explore in my next article) if that’s what I aspire to be. And so I decide to continue my mundane job and keep partying once in a week or so and continue living my daily life, having certain moments of life in between. So if 1 to 10 is the scale of happiness, I may derive a 2 or maximum a 3 with these moments I live in or outside my daily job but I am having that at the expense of an 8 or a 9 potential scales of happiness. I could reach an 8-9 point happiness through-out my life or in a major part of my life if I invest my energies and times of these 2-3 point happiness of little moments for reaching an 8-9 moments.
I think I’ve confused you enough to end this here, with a line of thought that you can sleep over one night. What is that huge opportunity that I miss every time I invest in “living in the moment”. The opportunity cost would mean using the same energies and capacities for moving towards something where each moment of your life is worth living.