Get All Access for $5/mo

Don't Forget the Importance of Living in the Now While you should have a long-term vision of the future, it should not prevent you from fully appreciating the present.

By Matt Mayberry Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Have you ever got so excited about what's to come in the future that you completely forgot to live in the present?

I certainly have, and I know many others that deal with the same problem. It's easy to forget about living in the present and direct our focus and energy towards the future, or even worse, the past.

Just last week I had the opportunity to speak to a large group of high school students. I always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with the younger generation and share with them not only the tools that will help them become successful, but some of the things I most regret when I was their age.

Related: Don't Blink, or You'll Miss Out on Life

One of the main things I decided to focus on with them was the importance of living in the now. When I was their age, all I could think about was going to college, and in turn neglected my final days as a high school student. Those are days I'll never get back. Once I got to college, the same pattern developed. I couldn't wait to leave Indiana University and start my NFL career.

This was a huge mistake on my part. Sure, it may have worked to my advantage to an extent because I always had a vision of what I wanted in my life, but I didn't take the time to fully enjoy where I currently was or savor the moment.

Yes, we must have a vision for where we want to go and take ownership of where we currently are, but something that we can't let happen is to neglect the present. The present is here to help develop and mold us into the individuals we need to become.

Day by day, life is fleeing from us. It's not just youth that needs to be reminded of this. We as entrepreneurs and business owners need the same reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in the process of building a business that you completely forget to live fully in the now.

Related: Is Your Ego Limiting Your Ability to Succeed?

Twenty years from now, once you are where you want to be, you will be looking back thinking what a mistake it was to not be as present as you could have been.

We decide not to give our all at work until a problem arises. We wait to tell those we love most how much they really mean to us until we come face to face with death. We forget about our most important values and priorities all to make a living or get an extra bonus.

Regardless of our stations in life, we can absolutely benefit from learning how to live in the now and be as present as possible while still having those long-term visions and plans. One of the major causes of unhappiness is to not appreciate what we already have and focus all of our energy and effort toward what we don't have.

The older we get, some of our most precious assets will be the memories that we have created throughout the course of our lives. Don't forget to make a life while you are busy making a living and building a business. There is no better time to start living life to the fullest than right this moment.

After all, not being present and choosing to not live life to the fullest now just might be one of your biggest regrets while on your death bed.

Related: The Crucial Question You Must Ask Yourself Regularly

Matt Mayberry

Speaker and Maximum Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

A former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Matt Mayberry is currently a keynote speaker, peak-performance strategist and writer. As the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company, he specializes in maximizing the performance of individuals and organizations all over the world. He published his first book, Winning Plays, in 2016. You can contact him and learn more at mattmayberryonline.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.