Living “In” Versus “For” The Moment

Life can be hustle and bustle, balancing work, school, gym, volunteering, attending events, etc. A life full of planning and organizing. It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete these tasks, so one sacrifices sleep, time, and money to have things done efficiently. Add that to maintaining friends, family, a significant other and a harem, and he can have a world full of stress.

Man on cell and laptop chick

Many are fixated on the past and future. It makes sense because what you experienced in the past made who you are today, and what you do now determines your future.

You get good grades so that you can graduate and get a good job. You study game books so you can better approach women. You eat clean and attend the gym to maintain a healthy body. You work extra hours so you could buy a nice car, clothes, and shoes, to show off to friends and female prospects. You work hard so that one day, in the future, you will be happy. You are constantly running, looking for that happiness. So you are miserable at this moment.

Splashing out Angry

Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh spoke lengths about it. The present moment is where you are happy, content, alive and free. Being free means you are without worry, jealousy, fear, sadness or regret, symptoms that manifest from dwelling on the past or future.

You hope you get that cute chick’s number to eventually bed her – so you worry. You hope that your game is tight enough to make her head over heels for you. You get a degree in liberal arts only to find you cannot find a decent  job – so you regret. You had hopes that you and your little snowflake were to live happily ever after, to find out she cheated on you – so you get sad. You hope your life is not like the past, so you work on your future; you hope your life is not like the future, so you dwell on the past. All the while you are missing the present moment.

park bench

For some, the present moment seems like a hedonistic experience binging on food, liquor, drugs and sexual activity. They say, “who gives a fuck!? Just live it up!” or “You’re going to die anyway, you might as well have fun!” They awake the next day in regret, being worse off the moment they did it. T

he present moment is about mindfulness, which is all about doing things in a healthy yet practical way. But only now is the time you can find change. Yes, you need to budget your bills to avoid debt, or eat so you will live another day, but each of these tasks should not be a task, rather a joyous action. There is a difference, since living for the present moment versus living in the present moment are two separate thoughts.

Buddhist meditating on Grass

The person who lives “for” the moment does himself a disservice. He trudges through work, school, and errands to get ready for the clubs and bars. He says to himself “finally,” when at these clubs and bars, that he can live “for” the moment. A lawyer who lives “for” the moment is unable to live presently on his time off until he is doing something that he personally enjoys doing, like reading a book, golfing, or talking about the case with colleagues. He seems to be present with the things he enjoys, but never present with everything else.

The person who lives “for” the moment orders a boat load of junk food, only to regret it later that night where he is sick with weight gain. The person who lives “for” the moment does not live fully or mindfully in the moment. He is selective with who, what, when, where and how he wants to be present. His practice is inconsistent and unhealthy.

Man on couch with food and beer

The person who lives “in” the moment does well for himself. He is thankful for everything in the present. He may not be the wealthiest man, but he has food in his stomach, and a roof over his head. He may not have a wardrobe full of new and brand name clothing, but he does have clothes and shoes that still fit him.

When he walks in the park, he manages to take in and enjoy everything. For example, the sounds of the birds chirping, the swaying of the trees and the ripples of the lake. When he eats, he takes his time to notice everything in that moment. Living “in” the moment he uses only his senses.

The man who lives this way is the happiest, and is free from anxiety, depression, and sickness. The man who lives “in” the moment believes he is wealthy, because he notices his arms, legs, toes, fingers, eyes and ears are luxuries. This man is content, since he sees positivity and beauty in every situation he is present in. His practice is consistent and healthy.

Man in Rain Happy

How does this help with meeting women? A man who lives “for” the moment has less success with women than a man who lives “in” the moment. The man who lives “for” the moment’s interaction is affected by his past and present, while the man who lives “in” the moment is enjoying everything in the present, no matter if it doesn’t fulfill his intrinsic value of fun or enjoyment.

He enjoys the music, food, laughter or the woman who he’s conversing with. He is playful with this woman, and living with reckless abandon. You are most attractive “in” the moment, and more importantly, you are living the best for yourself.

Read More: How Buddhism Can Help Your Game

48 thoughts on “Living “In” Versus “For” The Moment”

  1. ……A smooth and easy life…
    Strange how when we start our lives financially, it is rough, we feel we have a lot of time, and we are young
    and the older we get the less time we have, and yet, the easier we have made our lives,… so that life by it’s ease, seems to slip away smooth, and fast
    It seems in our very attempts to escape the web of mediocrity , we trap ourselves, as time becomes ever more fleeting, also, as we age, each year is a smaller fraction of our life which seems to create the perception that our life is speeding up
    Stress and roughness are the obstacles which slow down the pace of life, in a psychological sense…
    unfortunately, we view these as “boredom”, and “dread”,
    Excitement, Entertainment, Distraction, Fun…
    “it’s 2015” wow ..
    Excitement, Entertainment, Distraction, Fun…
    “its 2025” wow..
    Excitement, Entertainment, Distraction, Fun…
    “its 2035” wow..
    Excitement, Entertainment, Distraction, Fun…
    “its 2045” wow

  2. Every so often I feel another layer of amazement as I return to ROK. This is one of those moments. The beauty of this article is if you read it right, it actually draws you in to sense this moment. You are reading just the words that are in front of you. There is no past while reading it. Maybe when you re-read it you mind will try to create a past to compare it to. The mind loves dichotomies. It is a rare gift to be able to draw a mind out with just words. The author should write more for sure. But all in all thank you for posting another article to further focus us on the internal aspect of being. With all possibility of attainment it is important to always remember to be. Be here. Be now. Be whole. Be well. And when you step back from your mind a simple deep breath can make all the difference.

      1. Aside from the obvious fun of today’s environment, I am almost envious of the eternally present people. Buddhas, sages, monks, and what nots. It is what all escapist and thrill seekers crave. Jumping off mountains. Roller coaster ride junkies. People who gravitate towards games of Russian roulette. Gaming women in front of their husbands. All death courters to be sure but they all get some level of being present. Too bad there is so much going on sensory wise that this is difficult to attain and almost impossible to maintain without appearing a loon.

        1. Yes, many thanks to Tony….. it’s a very profound and well explained article…. When you live ‘for’ the moment, then you are forever chasing the rainbow…. living in future ideas and ideals… dreaming of a better life… and anything ‘bad’ that happens becomes the focus, while ‘good’ things become the target you are always chasing.
          When you live in the moment, then you take the moment for what it is, good or bad and simply appreciate that moment in time, without judgement, prejudice, disappointment, exuberance etc. Then you are truly free.
          I was changing a light bulb this morning and I mixed up the blown one, with the new one and ended up putting the old one back into the socket. A voice in my head cursed the mix up, which cost me very little, just a few seconds to switch them back around. No big deal, but the ‘ego’ goes nuts, gets irritated, ‘this can’t happen to me’ etc. etc. Of course with a small thing you can see it in action, since the irritation is minor, but with bigger things…. the chick rejects you, the job fires you etc. then you so easily get ‘identified’ and caught up chasing a better day.
          Being in the moment doesn’t mean being a loser, it simply means you take the moment for what it is, only then will better moments come. The ‘insanity’ of getting angry over mixing up light bulbs only creates more bad moments like that, as if you call more of the same by identifying with it…. being IN the moment, brushes over it and naturally leads to a better day.
          I was watching the documentary on Richard Branson’s Neckar Island and he’s there and looks so at peace with the world, almost like someone on heroin, he’s on a massive serotonin high…. well of course he is, he’s ultra rich on his private island, with all the success in the world, but I guarantee, all of that came from being ‘in the moment’ rather than chasing and living ‘for’ the moment. In our imagination we all have private islands and are super rich, but we never create that perfect reality, because we are too caught up in chasing it.
          Chase the horse it runs away.

      1. Seriously! ROK is becoming my CNN, Discovery Channel, BBC News, High Times, and Attraction Game haven. I didn’t forget about the ever growing MSNBC corner where we speak on how to form business models. Very well rounded articles!

    1. That’s also a mental construct, time. Evidence of it is only seen in the physical, the magnetic, and the cause & effect nature of our universe.

      1. doing your girl in the ass will certainly help you feel ‘in the moment’… hahahaha

  3. I’ve learned the benefits of “Mindfulness” from several sources. One of them is a book by Ram Dass called “Be Here Now.” It’s named after the practice of focusing on the moment. There’s a quote I remember from the book: “Don’t think about the future. Don’t think about the past. Just be here now.” Which is enormously powerful… they have done studies that prove that people who dwell on the past or the future, or replay scenarios in their head in which they wish they had said one thing or done another, are unhappier. The key to happiness is to live in the now.

    1. The key to living in the now is being in control of your mind rather than your mind being in control of you. An ability which is gained through meditation.

    1. Think of it as an attempt to make sure the current moment you are in is the most memorable. The author is just stating that you don’t have to wait for an outcome to make you happy. You can be happy right now. Being ‘Present’ is a lot trickier but if you liken it to pleasure, thrill, danger seeking, it might make more sense.

    2. It’s like when you’re a child and everything around you is new. You’re curious. The littlest thing excites you and fascinates you.
      As we age, these little enchanting things fade away in our minds. We’ve seen them thousands of times before and it’s nothing and boring. The one time I experienced that feeling again when I was in college tripping on mushrooms for the first time.
      Now I understand it and when I see a hummingbird flying up against a flower so still in mid air, I wonder at the marvel of that small creature.

  4. I must admit, I am a “for” the moment kind of guy. I am trying to change that, but old habits are hard to break sometimes.

  5. great article. every once in a while ROK will come out with some intelligent, well thought out articles. very helpful article.

  6. Well written article and great advice. The problem is applying its teachings to my life. Every day I am carpet bombed by feminism, multiculturalism and the screeching, cacophonious sounds these movements make is deafening and demoralizing. Its hard to turn it all off and find any semblance of peace or comfort in an environment like this because you are constantly reminded that you are on a train with broken brakes that is about to go off a proverbial cliff

    1. In such a circumstance you might want to consider taking your chances by jumping. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt, but you might just live.

    2. there is a meditation called the duality, where you use the mind against itself…. the mind is essentially a binary logic machine and thus, by applying the opposite concept, your mind gets confused and slowly goes silent…. we are not as good at using our minds as we’d like to imagine….. they run away on themselves like huge machines on auto pilot….
      when you starting playing with that you can redirect, retrain and focus the mind and it generates considerable inner peace which slowly becomes the main muscle of your consciousness….
      ‘there is no cliff’
      ‘feminism is impotent’
      ‘multiculturalism is confused’
      ‘cacophonious sounds are silent’
      ‘the vibration of life is always the same’
      etc. etc.
      these are not some kind of ‘positive thinking’ or affirmations, rather they are fed into the mind’s machinery to confuse it’s logic system and silence it… then true consciousness shines.

    3. mint… this is where mindfulness & mindset come into play! you say you’re carpet-bombed by those list of things (that irritate/infuriate all of us). be thankful that you’re not actually being carpet-bombed!

  7. Very fine article. But to take its advice would also be to negotiate what living in the moment means historically too, not least because many of us are engaging critically and / or politically in that moment. Can one be “in the moment” while enjoying (or believing in) the decline? Living in the now definitely seems like a better way to be, but to do that while being ‘engaged’ may perhaps require some kind of mindfulness about the manner of that engagement. I would also point out that to the extent this is true, there is an implied (if not total) critique of ‘progressivism’, insofar as the progressive may hold in his or her mind a kind of utopia when they would be “for the moment”, although this would be true to some extent for any historically or politically directed activity. The now I guess must encompass any past and future orientation. I’m probably overthinking, but then I enjoy overthinking

  8. Humans are inherently neurotic creatures, you can’t escape that. All these “live in the moment” are disembodied world of words and concepts constructed by your intellect.

    1. i disagree…. there is an inherent intelligence beyond the logical calculating machine of the rational mind…. call it consciousness, presence, whatever you want….
      the rational mind easily begins it’s pathetic song over any misfortune that befalls you…. where the consciousness lives IN the moment and appreciates the beauty that is all around at any moment.
      all success, discovery, improvement etc. comes from consciousness – all the pain, misery, sadness, failure, etc. comes from the mind….. that doesn’t mean you can’t use the mind for intelligent thought, it simply means that you can easily misuse the mind for negative thought, which produces more and more negative circumstances for your mind to catch onto…
      find a homeless person, they are always angry, full of blame, guilt, doubt, lack of self worth and terribly lost in the whys and wherefores of their downfall. find a wealthy person and although many are stressed about holding onto or increasing their wealth, they are by and large inherently ‘happy’ and embracing problems that come their way.

      1. A homeless person is angry because they are malnourished as opposed to the wealthy person who isn’t, yet still neurotic.

        1. homeless people are not generally malnourished….. they even have money for smokes, booze and drugs…. it’s their attitude that’s fucked NOT their diet…

        2. They are malnourished, just take a look at them. It does not matter if they have little money for booze and smokes, they eat junk and spend too much time outside under the cold. Their adrenals are burnt out, it’plain to see.

  9. I stopped reading after the mention of Eckhart Tolle. Why is everyone on this rat’s dick? This satanist piece of shit has no place in the manosphere. Countless lies in this guy’s work.

  10. Great article.
    Something I know I should do.
    But something I dont do….dwelling on past losses and looking ahead too much instead of focusing on the day.
    With the internet it is very easy to not live in the real world.

  11. Wow I didn’t even know this article was posted until I switched over to my computer.
    Come on ROK I’m missing out on awesome articles like this!!!!!

  12. I hear people say this shit but I am unable to do it. I don’t believe it’s possible to live in the moment. Of course some new age fag is gonna tell me that since I don’t believe it, it’s not possible hurr hurr. But seriously, I can’t wrap my head around this woo.

    1. Not being a new age fag I’m going to tell you that just because you don’t believe in it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
      You probably can’t play the fiddle as well as I can. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, it just means that I’ve put more time and effort into developing the skills. You might actually have more affinity for it than I do, but there is no practical difference between lacking talent and leaving talent undeveloped.
      Here is the key; living in the moment under the right (which is to say wrong) set of circumstances can see you properly dead in the next moment. Your subconscious lizard brain knows that and protects itself by refusing to “let go.”
      Begin your practice in obviously safe circumstances, such as lying in the grass on a warm summer afternoon, or listening to relaxing music. Closing your eyes helps, as it reduces the sensory input your subconscious will need to process.

        1. That might depend on who you ask.
          Mostly Irish, bit o’ Scots and Old Timey. I’d like to be able to play the Bach solo stuff from memory, if not exactly well, before I die, but the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.

  13. Well done making the distinction here between “for” and “in” the moment. They are very different. I’ve studied Buddhism a bit and this was a huge takeaway from those readings. People do tend to assume living in the moment means doing whatever feels good at that time. You have to be a little more mindful an realize everything is connected in some way.

  14. “The peaceful warrior” (film) is a good example of living in the moment. Yet, it’s no easy task to build the habit of living in the now, especially in this era of constant entertainment bombarding. Practice has always been the key. You also need to rewire the way you think about living in the moment so that you can control how you experience life. One needs to be mindful permanently so that he does not commit repeating mistakes and similar.

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