Living in The Moment and Other Such Nonsense

Today’s topic is about nonsensical advice and how it can really mess you up. For Brevity’s Sake, I’m only going to discuss two particular pieces of crap advice that’s been going around because if I went after every one of them, I’d never get this article written. For my British readers, this is what they call “taking the piss” so without further ado, let us begin:

1) Living in The Moment: First up on The Chopping Block is this little gem that never fails to stick in my craw. Don’t ask where the Craw is; I’m fairly certain it’s located somewhere down around the posterior end where it belongs. This particular piece of advice has emerged in recent years and in my personal opinion, it’s probably the worst advice that could ever be floated around in Modern Society. It disregards basic common sense because it advises that you should never plan for the future, never consider the consequences of your actions, and to settle for what you have instead of striving for a better life.

For a good part of my 20s and 30s, I tried to live by this and I ended up with bad credit, no personal funds to speak of a good portion of the time, and more headaches than a woodpecker on Monday. I’m sure it was originally intended that you should enjoy Life as it comes and treasure the special moments, and that’s not bad in itself, but we all know that realistically, one must keep one eye on the Present and the other on The Future.

2) You Only Live Once aka YOLO: Whoever came up with this one needs a good tap on the back of the head. First off, it’s pretty obvious that we ALL only live once unless you are a Hindu and believe in Reincarnation, but that’s a topic for another day. Again, there may be a well-meaning intention behind this expression but it’s often used to excuse reckless and irresponsible behavior that beggars all common sense understanding. Unless you want to go through Life becoming intimately familiar with the expression “Sorry, I Effed Up” then disregard this one.

Be selective about which pieces of advice you internalize and remember that you are ultimately responsible for your actions, whether they are successes or not. Failure only occurs when you stop trying. The recent weekend was a very long and arduous affair so I’m looking forward to a much calmer and lower-stress time this week. No writing got done so that always makes me a tad cranky. Until later, hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Living in The Moment and Other Such Nonsense

  1. No, no, it’s based on a misunderstanding. The saying is not “live IN the moment” but “live FOR a moment.” If you follow this advice, you can live for a moment in the greatest of luxury or extravagance. After that moment is over, of course, you’ll be in debtor’s prison for the rest of your life.

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  2. I think these two counsels are generally twisted out of context by people who use it as excuses to faff around and mess up big time. I live in the moments by applying the best of myself from one period to the other so that by the end of the day, I most likely would have given my optimum best and possibly surpassed set expectations. The idea of living in the moment shouldn’t deprive us of basic common sense but should encourage us to give the best of ourselves from one moment to the next

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  3. I too strive to live a life without regrets. I calculate every decision, and I never feel like I’ve “missed out” on anything because I wasn’t spontaneous enough. I still remember the possible consequences that would have occurred HAD I chosen to be spontaneous – anywhere from police custody, to injury, to having the wrath of my mother ground me for six months. I’ve had plenty of great opportunities in life that I’ve turned down – after college, I was selected to be a chemistry intern at Walt Disney World, but I had to say “no.” Am I sad I didn’t go? A little. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Had I gone, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with as a good a job as I have now, because I would have missed this opportunity. It would have been fun in the moment, but the rest of my life would have suffered.

    Overall, I have the opposite perspective of most of my peers, who feel like they “have the rest of their life” to settle and be thoughtful. Rather, I want to work my butt off in my twenties so that my thirties, and the rest of my life, is easy.

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    • I always enjoy it when you make an appearance, Aetherhouse, because you demonstrate a level of depth is becoming exceedingly rare these days. I learned by experienced that a calculated risk is a much better proposition than leaping before you look. The chance of something going South is still there, but at least you have your eyes open to the consequences as you’re going in. As for that “rest of your life” Thing, we all come up with that particular attitude but the really perceptive ones realize early that the rest of your life can dwindle down to “Oh Crap, I need to get my shit together quick”. Thanks for your wisdom. 🙂

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  4. Alas, my tendency is to always look back with regret. It borders on a neurosis sometimes. I can pick out pivotal moments in my life when I should have zigged when I zagged. I suppose my experience is the exact opposite of aetherhouse in that my late landing on my feet is a result of poor decisions I made earlier in my life. Now the task is to move on, make the rest of my life better and put my diploma from the school of hard knocks away in the box with all the other mementos from my YOLO days.

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