I ran across something I enjoyed reading by the well-known psychiatrist, author, and lecturer, Dr. David Harold Fink. It was a short piece called “A Doctor’s Diagnosis: LEARN TO FORGET.”
The doctor points out that if you want to become a real person, and hence a likable person, you must practice living in the here and now. It is all a matter of directing your attention. You have seen people who listen to a conversation with a faraway expression on their faces making no effort to understand what is said to them. Generally, they are not thinking about what you are saying but about what they are going to say as soon as you stop talking.
When you listen, listen with every part of your being, as if you intended to reproduce every detail later on. Be as intent as a cat watching at a mouse hole. You won’t have to pretend to be interested, because living in the here and now is the most fascinating and exciting experience that a person can have.
Many people have had complicated experiences in their past.
This causes them to react similarly in new situations, that should cause them no anxiety. They don’t know how to forget, and so they confuse the past with the present. There is no future in living in the past. Fortunately, this common occurrence is far from hopeless. There is a way out.
People can forget the disagreeable past and live happily in the present, by focusing their attention upon what they are experiencing here and now. They can do this by making every perception, every sense, alive and vivid. Psychoanalysis may help them to understand why they confuse the past with the present, but only a new attitude toward the present can end their confusion and unhappiness.
If you want a crowd of loyal, devoted friends, you must earn friendship by making yourself into a real person.
It is all a matter of directing your attention to the present.
Some think of Neurosis as a disorder or one’s power of attention. The neurotic is easily distracted because he cannot concentrate his attention. He scatters it. As a result, he is prey to whatever floats into his ken. A chance remark becomes a severe insult. A fleeting memory becomes the source of deep humiliation or poignant regret. He can’t do anything effectively because he does not focus his attention on whatever he has set himself to do. This, of course, does not add to his feelings of self-esteem and personal worth. As he loses his self-control, he becomes more distracted and distractible, more confused and unhappy. There is a way out, of course. Millions of people have found it.
The way to love every day of your life — to experience your life in full is never to be content.
Don’t be content with only half experiencing what life has to offer you. Savor it to the last drop. That’s good advice!
Albert Schweitzer has written, “It is only giving that stimulates. Impart all that you can of your spiritual being to those on the road with you – and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them.”