sends success articles each week to 23,000 subscribers. Use these articles to improve your personal, financial and professional success. Go to for more information.

TipsForSuccess: Past, Present or Future?


Is Your Attention in the Past, Present or Future?

Do you constantly think about the future? Does tomorrow seem scary and uncertain? Are you worried how it will all turn out?

If your attention is stuck in the future, you are not as happy nor as competent as you should be.

Maybe your attention is in the past. Do you dwell on old decisions? Do people from your past still affect you? Are you constantly thinking of accidents, attacks or injuries?

If so, you are missing the best part of life.

Definition of Sanity

When you are in good condition, you are in the here and now. You are aware of the present. Your thoughts and attention are neither in the past nor in the future.

". . . the very, very sane confront the present entirely and have very little concern for the future, being competent enough in handling the present to let the future take care of itself." -- L. Ron Hubbard

If you think about it, present time is all there really is. The past and the future exist only in our minds. Present time is reality.

Test yourself. Close your eyes and relax. Notice your thoughts. Are they in the past, present or future?

Now try to get your attention completely in the present. Look at an object for 30 seconds. Try to do nothing but look at the object. Can you keep your attention in the present for the entire 30 seconds? Do thoughts of the past or future slip in?

Imagine having no thoughts except present-time thoughts all day long.

10 Benefits of Keeping Your Attention in the Present

1. Your powers of perception are greatly increased as you see things exactly as they are.

2. You don't beat yourself up for your past decisions or potential weaknesses in the future.

3. You look at others as they actually are. This is much more accurate than how they were or how you hope they will be.

4. Bad memories have less of an effect on you.

5. You can control the present much more effectively than the past or the future.

6. Your job performance is far superior as you are more alert.

7. You perceive more, experience more and enjoy more when you are in present time.

8. You make better decisions because you view life as it actually is right now.

9. Bad news does not bother you as much because it does not remind you of similar bad news from the past.

10. You have fewer accidents and injuries. Your mind does not wander. Your reactions are faster.

Two Ways to Live More in the Present

1. Increase your ability to focus your attention on the present.

Practice, practice, practice. Every time you find yourself thinking about the past, look at an object. Move your attention in the present.

When speaking to people, really look at them. Focus on what they are saying.

When working, do nothing but work.

Live in the present with all your activities: driving, eating, walking, playing, reading, talking, even while watching a movie. The more you live in the present, the more you enjoy your life.

2. Reduce the negative influence of your past.

The biggest problem to staying in present time is your past. You can't stop thinking about certain incidents. Bad experiences do not go away.

Bad incidents from your past can also make you worry too much about the future. You are so worried that these bad things might happen in your future that you are ineffective in the present.

To reduce the power of the past, you need to face the details of the past and resolve them so they no longer bother you. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to do this.

Mr. Hubbard found irrational behavior stems from emotionally-charged experiences in the past. In fact, everything you dislike about yourself is based on something in your past.

Two easy, safe methods for resolving your past are explained in "Self Analysis" and "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" by L. Ron Hubbard. With "Self Analysis," you examine specific parts of your past by yourself. The procedure is easy and enjoyable. "Dianetics" deals with more difficult memories and requires a partner. You and your partner help each other by following the instructions in this best-selling book.

You can find these books in bookstores, used bookstores or libraries. They are also available at and

By reducing the influence of your past, you can operate more effectively in the present to make your future more successful.

"Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today and you make your tomorrow." -- L. Ron Hubbard


Copyright © 2006 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.

Take better control of your life with the TipsForSuccess coaching website at

For permission to copy, print or post this article, go to or click here.

To subscribe, buy books, contact us or learn more about, click here.

Blog Archive