There is a school of thought that says that we should ‘live for the moment’ or ‘live for now’.
I come from such a place myself, spent over seven years there, but some time after leaving I realised that living in this way, in today’s world, is not the be-all and end-all… and perhaps is actually no longer the right way for today.
The school of thought I used to be such an advocate of was a Martial Art system that would sell itself as a Warrior school. In this, it would not only teach the physical movements of self-defence, but also taught Eastern style philosophical lessons that changed the way a person views the world.
As it was a Japanese based system, it had all the hallmarks, intentionally, of following the Samurai Way – Bushido.

In the age of the Samurai, at its peak, Japan was a seething mass of feuding clans, each led by their respective Shogun’s (leader, king, lord, etc). It was a time when the Warrior ruled, and all other lifestyles were a lesser class.
In such a world a Samurai Warrior would train their minds to understand that death could come at any moment. In fact, they would engender the internal condition of living as if their death had already occurred!
The idea behind this is that if on the battlefield a warrior is trying to perform the task expected of them to the highest ability, and is also trying to stay alive, then there would be a conflict of interests – i.e. how can they possibly best serve their lord if they are in fact thinking of themselves! It was considered the highest honour to die in battle in the name of their lord and clan.
(The book Hagakure is a wonderful reflection of the mindset of this time. Written by a Samurai around 350 years ago in a time of relative peace, it is a collection of thoughts, experiences and incidents over a seven year period.)
In a world such as this it is easy to understand how ‘living for the moment’ could be a very necessary way of dealing with such a life… there was a very real possibility that you may not be alive the next day.

Fast forwarding to the reality of today; for the very large majority of us, the way we live now, and the environment we live in, means that there is a very high chance of being around tomorrow, the next day, next week, next year, and so on right up to a ripe old age (errrmm…unless you, the reader, have already reached that ripe old age… in which case I would suggest starting to think like the Samurai – live for today!).
However, the lessons of ‘living for the moment’ are still as valid as they have always been. It’s just that we live in a more complicated world now, so its application cannot be so all-encompassing.

As a result of this change in mindset, I now say:

By all means, live for the moment, enjoy the ‘now’. But don’t forget to plan for tomorrow… you’ll probably still be here!

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