Living in the Present

Question

Hi Rabbi, I’m often wondering, “What’s next in my life?” My friends tell me this it’s normal to think about one’s future. But, if I’m thinking about what will happen next, how can I really enjoy the present? Thanks!

, 3 weeks

Answers

  1. Our Jewish Sages teach that the definition of a “rich person” is someone who is “happy with what he has.” This may sound like a somewhat simplistic formula for happiness and satisfaction, but for many people it is actually a difficult goal to achieve. However, this mindset is the key to a much more tranquil and contented life.

    What are our Jewish Sages really teaching us? Whatever we have right now is what God wants us to have. If we would only understand this, and internalize its meaning, we would not be forever looking over our shoulder at what the next person has. We would not be always gazing in the store windows (or browsing Amazon on Windows™), eating our hearts out because of a product that we didn’t even know we wanted until a minute ago.

    There is a famous quote from the late cartoonist Bill Keane that really sums up the way we should approach our lives: “Yesterday is the past and tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift — which is why they call it the present.”

    Perhaps you can use this saying as your motif in your own personal daily life as a shield against any worry about the future.

    I wish you much happiness and success in all your endeavors and your “presents”!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team