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Staying present contributed most to my net worth and happiness

I’ve worked for myself since I was 16 years old. I wish I could say I was some kind of genius or child prodigy, but the truth is, I couldn’t afford car insurance and gas just to get to my job at a grocery store in Kingman, Arizona.

While still working 8 hours a day pushing carts, I started a business painting windows for Christmas, which grew into cleaning windows once per month for multiple businesses. A lot has changed from 16 to 40 years old, but one mainstay of my wealth and happiness has been a simple principle I try to follow. It’s easier said than done, but I think it’s well worth the goal.

Staying Present

Living in the moment, by far, creates the most happiness and opportunity for me.

I’ll explain by showing you why focusing on the past or future actually creates the opposite for me.

The Past

At 17, I wanted to buy Microsoft stock. It was about $7 per share, and I planned to buy $10,000 worth with money I had saved cleaning windows and then leave on a 2-year mission. I would check my balance when I got back since we wouldn’t be allowed access to banks, etc. My parents thought it was a bad idea and wouldn’t co-sign on a Schwab account, so no Microsoft for me. You guessed it—I would have had multiple seven figures in my account once I returned.

What’s the lesson? Well, there isn’t really one. I could mope about missed opportunities or whatever else, but it does nothing for me now. The only thing I take from that is, “Hey, that was a good idea I had. Cool!”

We do the same thing with bad past experiences as well in our lives, and we have to learn to let them go. Turn rough experiences into wisdom and move on.

We all know we can’t change the past, but living in it constantly as the glory days or not-so-glory days never makes us feel or function better.

The Future

I have a much harder time focusing too much on the future. I have been right very few times about what’s coming up in my life, so why have I spent so much time worrying about it?

I think we assume that by being careful and worrying about the future, we will somehow change it. We’ll be able to avoid pain and create success.

Most of what happens negatively to us, though, is because of stressors out of our control. That is usually why it’s so frustrating; we did everything right, we say, but then still suffer the consequences of others’ actions.

Take AI as an example. I’ve had to radically change how I do things at Raptor to keep clients doing well organically due to new entrants in the AI space. I could be angry about all this, but what’s the point?

In the Moment

Life is short. Very short. If we live in the past, we miss today. If we live in the future, we suffer twice: with worry and when or if it even happens (assuming it actually does).

There is adventure in loving the day we are living in. We don’t know what will happen, and we can learn to wake up with some anticipation of the unknown.

Some are so good at this that they literally live a gypsy-like existence, day to day, with no thought of tomorrow, including both financial or physical planning.

I am not quite at this point, but I do find the most happiness when I accept the day as it comes and see adventures as a good thing rather than a negative experience.

I’ve gained most of my value and wealth from living in the moment and seizing the day, as they say. I’ve also had my happiest moments by just enjoying my life as it is without hoping for perfect planning of the future to work out as I expect.

How often does that really happen for any of us?

I hope you will have the same experience: living in the moment, forgetting the past, and ignoring the future.

Sincerely,

Published By:

Author: Joseph Stevenson

I’m a brand advisor for 7-8 figure solo-prenuers, entrepreneurs as well as larger public companies. I’m the guy companies come to when they feel stagnant and inauthentic. I’ve been able to help thousands of businesses find their niche, market for customer needs and explode their revenue. I have close to 20 years of experience in online marketing and brand building having worked with companies throughout the US and in some other major countries.