Introduction: Living in the Moment. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation in Our Daily Lives

Living in the present moment is something many psychologists, life coaches and motivational speakers often preach. Why? Do they have a point? Do you live in the moment?

We spend a lot of time dwelling in the past and worrying about the future. Living in the moment is important because it allows you to appreciate and to see what actually is.

Understanding the concept of living in the moment is no easy task. People often tell us to focus on the present and to forget the past and the future. But what does this mean? If we’re motivated for the future or what will come afterwards (also known as a goal), can we appreciate the moment in which we live? Ultimately, I think many of our disappointments and unhappiness stems from focusing too much on the future and living in memories of the past.

The theme of this blog will discuss our motivations in some practical aspects of our daily lives and that if we are motivated extrinsically, living and truly appreciating the present moment is impossible. There are exceptions; for example, when someone is serving others. But I am talking about someone who is operating and motivated for themselves on a strictly extrinsic level.

We’ll start off light and discuss regular situations like work, school and hooking-up. Then we’ll move towards more difficult examples in what I like to call the “family dilemma” as well as the difference between your self consciousness and your mental processes.

This article written by Timothy Whiston gives a good idea of what it means to live in the present.

What does living in the present mean to you? Share your thoughts below. Cheers.