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Why You Need to Stop Waiting and Start Living Today

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrue, it is important to have dreams, goals and aspirations but it is just as important not to wait for the ideal scenario to come around. Too many of us live our lives waiting for the perfect moment to be happy, satisfied, and content. The problem is we have misled ourselves. That moment never comes. There will always be stressors in our life that leave us desiring…. something else. We need to learn how to make the most of our situation today. Today is all we have. It is what you have created and now need to figure out how to be happy in it. Sure things may get better in the future but there will ALWAYS be something you wish you had, even when everyone else thinks you have it all.

I wanted to share one of my favorite essays on this topic I read every year as a reminder to enjoy the moment and stop longing for the station.

The Station

by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We’re traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hills, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing, and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering … waiting, waiting, waiting, for the station.

However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. Translated it means, “When I’m 18, that will be it ! When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it! When I put the last kid through college, that will be it! When I have paid off the mortgage, that will be it! When I win a promotion, that will be it! When I reach the age of retirement, that will be it! I shall live happily ever after!”

Unfortunately, once we get it, then it disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles and instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

All Rights Reserved

Robert J. Hastings Estate

With a wife in her umpteenth year of training to become a Doctor and a few more to go, it is easy to focus on the station but that won’t do us any good at all. I hope you enjoyed the essay. Now tell me how you stay focused on enjoying the moment. Leave your answer in the comments below. The time is now, let’s have fun with it!

  • http://www.hughculver.com Hugh Culver

    This is so good. I stay focussed by spending (at least) 5 min planning for every hour of grunting away wiping things off my list. It’s easy to get distracted doing monkey work. I want to be a monkey tamer instead.