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  • Martin Stepek

Value Your Life

Life is precious. We all know that.


And yet…


Life is made up solely of moments and we certainly don’t treat all of our moments as precious.


We throw away hundreds every day: on bad moods, stress, anxiety, worries, or on fairly mindless activities that we are only half-doing while faffing about online or on the phone.

None of that is criticism of being online, on the phone, or watching television, just not doing it wholeheartedly, or not consciously choosing what it is we are looking at.


The old phrase says “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. So too, but even more so, does this apply to your life: look after the moments and your life will look after itself.


Our society doesn’t think this way. It tells us we all need to focus on the future, on making plans, creating bucket lists, and having ambitions or future wishes, like getting married, getting promoted or having a particular career, and so on.


Again, it’s just like the discussion we’ve just had about being online, using your mobile phone, and watching television. There’s nothing wrong with wish lists, to do lists, plans, dreams, and so on. It’s the amount of emphasis we place on these. We’re constantly dreaming of the future, or worrying about it. Meanwhile life keeps on slipping by. In half an hour wondering what you want to do at the weekend, half an hour of your life is gone, never to be retrieved.


Worse, in that half an hour you may have had a cup of coffee and not even noticed you had it. The sun may have been shining and cast a lovely shadow on your living room wall, but you were too busy thinking about what you hope to be doing in ten year’s time.


It’s about balance. Enough time on the future. Enough time on the past. And especially, more than both of these, enough time right here, right now – the present moment, which is the only time you can actually experience being alive.


Every so often – as frequently as you can – just stop for a wee while, even if it’s for a few seconds. Switch your senses full on. What can you see where you are? Appreciate what you have there, whether it’s a chair, the television, your mobile phone, a nice view across the street, or somewhere in nature. Just breathe it in slowly and gratefully. This is the present moment. Be there for it. If you’ve got the fire on because it’s winter, feel the warmth, enjoy the flames flicking up and down, notice the changes in colour of each flame from moment to moment.


If you can get a break, put some music on, or go outside to see if you can hear any birds singing nearby. If listening to music just close your eyes and flow with the tune, absorb the lyrics, whether they’re light-hearted and fun, or deep and emotional.


This is your life. Your moments are precious. They’re not only precious; they’re also so unique from moment to moment. But you have to mentally and emotionally be there for your own life. There’s a time to do, and a time to think about things, but there’s also the time to just stop and be. And of all of these things you can do in your life, just stopping and being, just simply experiencing your little things in life, is to my mind, the most enjoyable and most rewarding of all.

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