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The Power of Now Summary: Most people wake up and have a constant stream of negative thoughts until they go to bed. The majority of those thoughts will never actually happen. They don't even really matter or are simply going to be challenges that they're going to overcome.
It's funny that most people might not even realize this. It has become the norm.
Unless you've tried to become aware of your thinking or tried meditating, you might not even realize what your mind is doing to you.
The Power of Now Review: Now the mind is probably one of the most powerful tools that we have, but the more powerful something is, the more dangerous it is if a person doesn't know how to be in control of it. It's literally like taking a chainsaw and giving to the guy who has no control over his limbs.
So why is that you want to become aware of this or as 'Eckhart Tolle' says, "watch the thinker?".
Because it's harming you. The more we study this, the more we realize that it's physically harming us.
If you go outside and look at people, you will see cortisol producing machines. That's literally what everyone has become. And it's apparent in how they walk and how they interact with each other. It is literally punishing you. Not only is it ruining your life, but it's also physically harming you.
So a lot of people have come to understand this, and most people have started to see the value in becoming present. But really, there are two obstacles to becoming present.
It is the past and the future.
People have an easier time reconciling the past with the present. Even though I'll still get questions like, "Oh, so uh, what are your biggest regrets in life?" I'm like, "Uh, I don't know." And They're like, "Come on! You gotta have some."
But I really don't know, because I don't think about that. It just doesn't make sense to talk something that isn't and let it negatively affect something that is. I think most people understand that. Maybe not in practical but at least in theory they understand that.
The actual problem comes with the future and the present moment. How do you reconcile those two?
I want to set those important goals, I want to have a compelling vision, but how do you reconcile that with being present to the moment?
The answer to that is - There are two kinds of people. The first one is the classic rat racer. In two years, he's going to get a $2 raise, and that's all he's anxious and stressed out about for the next two years. After he gets that $2 raise, he'll be very happy for the next 2 minutes, and then he'll be back to another two years of stress and anxiety for another $2 raise.
That's the life of most people, and then some of those people will pick up the Bhagavad Gita or Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now Summary" and completely misunderstand it and say, "Well, no more goals! That's just ego gratification! From now on I'm staying fully present to the moment!".
Honestly, anything's probably better than being in a rat race, but ultimately you don't want to get stuck in either one of those paradigms. So let's look at an analogy from Tal Ben-Shahar that should allow us never to have a problem in understanding how you can have a vision, goal and stay present to the moment at the same time.
Tal Ben-Shahar says, imagine you're a mountain climber. Okay, we all get it. Happiness isn't in the peak. If a helicopter picked you up and dropped you off at the top of the mountain, you wouldn't say, "Oh, look! I'm a happy mountain climber! Look at how proud I am of myself!"
Happiness is the experience of climbing towards the peak. And that's literally how you want to look at it. You set up that strong vision, that worthy goal of yourself which is the peak, and then you follow that path that leads you there while you stay present to the moment on the journey.
But then again there's going to be some guy that says, "Well, you're taking out all the spirituality from Power of Now," or whatever. But look, you're obviously misunderstanding it. 'Eckhart Tolle' does not say don't plan. If that were the case, the guy would still be sitting on a park bench instead of going on Oprah and producing multiple best-selling books. That's the whole "The Power of Now Review".