I often find myself worrying about what lies ahead. I fear a plane crashing, a major change at work, a loss of income, a serious illness—all potential future events. Dr. Low would remind me that finding peace involves living in the moment, not working up a situation in the “preview.”
Dr. Low also emphasizes realism. A realist doesn’t fret over major life disruptions that realistically have little likelihood or that are unavoidable at any rate. For example, a realist acknowledges that, yes, all of us will die someday, but he doesn’t spend his life worrying about how that could happen. A realist doesn’t try to predict the future and finds happiness and inner peace by living in the moment.
For nervous people, being a realist is challenging. But when I stop and simply listen to the wind or my cat breathing I instantly feel relief from being able to relieve myself, even momentarily, of the immense burden of trying to worry about—and ultimately trying to control—the future. Being a realist takes practice, and I have a long way to go. Yet simply acknowledging the value of living in the present certainly reflects more realistic thinking.