A lot of making progress has to do with assessing the present moment and comparing it to what has happened in the past. Looking at the present as well as being present are desirable skills and states of existence respectively. However simply acting with the mind of a child in the present doesn’t actually cover all of the bases you will need in order to be successful. Yes we want to approach challenges and obstacles with a sense of play and curiosity but we also will benefit from some serious analysis and comparison of the events in the near and distant past. Really what I’m asking you to do is develop a dynamic mind capable of assuming varying energetic states instantaneously and then being able to switch between them plastically and seamlessly. You have to be able to receive information, analyse and then act or react appropriately.
It all starts with simply recognizing how you behave. For years I wasted every Saturday and Sunday recovering from a hangover. It's amazing I finished college. Thankfully I realized the partying was not slowly killing me. One night in my sophomore year of college after taking an exorbitant dose of ecstasy, had an intense nightmare. I dreamed I had stuffed handfuls of pills into my pockets and I was attempting to walk through the halls of my high school unnoticed. I felt as if everyone was staring at me. There were so many pills in my pockets they started to run down my pant legs and spill onto the floor. Consumed by embarrassment I ran for the door pills scattering in my wake. I woke up quite scared and freaked out. I knew I wasn’t living up to my ideals or moral code. I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore. I was ready to make a change. Not long after, I came up with the idea of trying out martial arts. I knew martial arts involved discipline and commitment. That would be the opposite of how I had been behaving. By recognizing the pattern I was able to consciously implement new behavior. The key is to replace negative behaviors with more neutral and hopefully positive ones. Then monitor the changes and be willing to continue to make adjustments.