• Race to a Cure Authors

Living in the Moment

It’s so easy for teenagers to get caught up in the world around us, whether that may be school, extracurriculars, university, or stress, that we may not get to truly “experience” our life for what it is. As a teenager myself, I feel like we don’t focus on the present, but we’re rather constantly stressing about our future and just being “enough.” Every few weeks, I realize how fast time is moving and take a step back to think, ‘wow, am I really experiencing life at its fullest?’ I feel like many teenagers can relate to the feeling that we haven’t “started” our actual life quite yet because we’re constantly preoccupied with other commitments. The idea of living life to its fullest is different for everyone, but one of the aspects is living in the moment.

It can sound cliché, “living in the moment” like characters in an unrealistic coming-of-age movie; however, it can mean letting go of parts of the past and not overplanning for the future. Anything unbalanced or out of proportion can be harmful. While being present in the moment, try to keep your past and future in your preconscious thoughts. As Abraham Maslow said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” Being in the present can allow us to focus on what needs to be done at the time and make us happier without a huge amount of stress about the future. It doesn’t mean to act irrationally, but to be more mindful of the now, so we don’t get carried away from the opportunities we’re presented.

Living in the moment also means taking a few risks and steps outside your comfort zone. Overthinkers can relate where we think of all the possible consequences of a situation before we act. Oftentimes, our thought process hinders us and pulls us back from something that could have made us happy or self-growth. It’s good to look at the bigger picture before we act. If we are always concerned about all the possibilities, we would not be able to move forward and progress in life. If you’re having trouble overthinking, I found that talking through your thought process with your friends really helps. Living in the moment also means stopping waiting. We dream of many goals, aspirations, and hopes for the future. We tell ourselves that the meaningful moments will come, but why wait? Why not work towards your dreams now? As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Fear of failure in the future can scare us and set us back, but at least you can say you tried instead of wondering what could have been. Don’t make your future self ask, “what if?” Be in the present, pull some courage together and take some steps outside of your comfort zone. What matters is that you tried!

Time truly does fly, and I wish you the best of luck living in the present and taking some risks, whether for an opportunity or your happiness. Good luck!

Article author: Kelley Liang

Article editors: Sherilyn Wen, Stephanie Sahadeo