Where's Your Head At?
By Deon Du Plessis
There are essentially two types of travelers in this world. There are those who are consumed by 'ticking boxes' and traveling to all the 'major attractions' just to say that they've been there and done that. Then there are those who truly travel for the experience of traveling and who soak up everything along the way. The real purpose of traveling is not to reach a destination, but to travel.
This is also true in the journey of life. So many people go through life reaching for destinations and they end up never 'traveling'. Wherever your mind is, that is where you are. See, your whole life is actually lived within the confines of your mind. It is not what happens to you, but how you process it in your mind. Wherever you put your focus is where your attention will be. So often we fall into the trap of the 'someday-somewhere' mentality, where we think that 'someday' when we are somewhere else or with someone else or with something else we will be happy. 'Then' we will do x, y and z. We almost live in this other place that we aspire to and we end up forgetting where we are right now - which is all we've really got anyway.
Life is lived in the 'now'. Now is all you will ever really own. Although you can escape to some future place in your mind, a place that you think will make you happy, you only really want that to experience that in a moment of now anyway. It's only when you are firmly rooted in the present moment and when all of you is here, that you can really experience something fully.
Being firmly rooted in the present does not negate having goals and aspiring to great things. In fact, it requires that. An awareness of where you've been and a vision for where you are going will color your experience of now. Set your course for where you want to go and then make sure that you are firmly rooted in the present. If you are driving your car and you are focused on something a mile ahead of you, you will miss both the hazards and the beauty that is right in front of you. Always remember that the purpose of traveling is not to reach a destination, but to travel - it's all about the experience.
The danger in always being focused on some future goal or accomplishment is that it distracts us from taking action right here, right now. Procrastination is a 'future thing'. When your mind is at some place in the future, you tend to absorb all the potential problems that this (imaginary) future might hold. Since most of our fears are only imaginary we tend to start imagining potential problems and challenges that breeds procrastination. Remember that procrastination is designed to 'protect' you from unpleasant tasks and to keep you from taking action on those things that will be unpleasant. When you are rooted in the future you will continuously fabricate situations and circumstances that will encourage procrastination. When you are rooted in the present you will be empowered to take action because all you have to deal with is what's in front of you.
There is immense power in 'now'. When you are firmly rooted in where you are instead of where you want to be in some nondescript future, then you are mobilized. Procrastination immobilizes you and even if you know where you want to travel to, you will remain stranded in indecision and fear. You will be overwhelmed by everything that you think you still need to do to get you where you are not. If you are focused on the now, then all you have to do is what you can do right now with exactly where you are right now and with exactly what you've got right now. You don't need to wait for anything to be different before you can take action. Your attention is focused on what you can do NOW. This is empowering.
It's true that action will not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. Procrastination steals your future by stealing your present moments. Be in the present moment. It will free you from the fears and problems that will keep you locked up in procrastination and indecision. To overcome procrastination, look at what's right in front of you and start there. Always ask yourself what you can do right now - and do that! Never waste your present moments with what you 'could have' or 'should have' done and don't be held captive by your future. Always be mindful of where your head is at, because that is where you are, and where you are is what will determine what you will or will not do.