“Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, who has been living in France for the many years following his exile from Vietnam in 1973. Over the course of his 88 years, he has written over 100 books, and has worked continuously for peace across the globe. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968 by Martin Luther King, Jr. He has, sadly, been in a coma since mid-November following a brain hemorrhage.
I have to confess that I used this quote earlier this week on Facebook – so to my family & friends, I apologize for the lack of originality, but I love this sentiment. This is advice that we all need on a nearly daily basis, but it seems to be a bit worse during this time of year, when confront the end of one year and the beginning of the next. While we inventory what went right/wrong, and what we want/need for the future, we sometimes forget where we are. This inventory taking and internal planning has much value in our continued growth, but when we get caught in the trap of obsessing over mistakes we’ve made, or difficulties we’ve had, and wishing our crystal balls were intact so that we could know what tomorrow will bring, we lose track of where we are. And of those around us that need us to be involved in this moment.
So, as we rush towards the end of yet another year, filled with planning and excitement, remember to slow down sometimes to enjoy the now. There is beauty and wonder all around, if we would only allow ourselves the time to look around.