Physicists, philosophers and spiritual leaders are beginning to agree that time is a difficult concept to define. Some believe that time doesn’t exist, that it’s only a way we use to understand the movement of things and events. It may also be the reason that many people struggle to enjoy life.

Consider what your past really is. It doesn’t exist outside of the memories you retain of prior events. Over time, your mind can forget, or even rewrite the way you remember the past.

What is the future? Some say that it’s an infinite number of possibilities that may or may not happen.

If you find yourself dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, what’s really happening? You’re spending your energy on moments that no longer exist and moments that may never happen. This can make for a sad and frustrating life. A more positive approach is to focus on the moment.

What is a moment? It’s the experience you are having right now. It is your own unique experience. No one else in the Universe experiences this moment like you do. Your experience of this moment is yours alone. And you get to assign meaning to it.

Mindful Exercise

Close your eyes and notice this moment. What are you experiencing? You might say “I’m worried about what I said to my spouse yesterday” or “I hope I get that raise at work next week.” Those are just thoughts and they are focused on the past and the future, which don’t exist.

Close your eyes and try this again. What do you hear? What temperatures and vibrations do you feel against your skin? How does it feel to own this moment? Now think to yourself “I am grateful for this moment” and sit with that awareness that you are now experiencing a moment so unique that it has never existed before and will never again.

Open your eyes and look around you. Did the world change? Perhaps not yet. Close your eyes and experience gratitude for the next moment. Do this whenever you feel lost in the past or the future. Remember that every moment is a unique opportunity to feel gratitude.

Develop this practice in your life and one day you’ll open your eyes and the world may look different to you. You’ll realize that life is not about the past or present. Life is a series of special and unique moments, each one worthy of your gratitude. You’ll then understand that your ideal life is the one where you feel gratitude for each and every moment.