Archive for October 10, 2007

How To Use “The Present” Well?

October 10, 2007

I was evaluating speeches at my own NUS Toastmasters club a week ago. Xue Ling presented this speech project. It was thought provoking. In addition, she has improved much as a speaker and increased her confidence as she presents her projects. Thanks very much, Xue Ling, for sharing with us how to use the present well.


 “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift, that’s why we call it the Present.” We can cherish or regret our yesterdays, we can dream or fear our tomorrows, but we can only live our today. The only thing that we truly have control over is the moment we are in now.

The present, also known as Now, is perhaps the best gift you can ever give t o yourself, because of all the gifts you might receive, you’ll find this present the most valuable one of all.

Up till now, I believe that many of us are aware of the importance of the power of Now. However, how many of us or the people around are practicing such powers, to truly say they have enjoyed the present?

Hence in my speech, I shall elaborate on three aspects of The Present, namely Being, Reflecting and Planning. I strongly believe that by using the Present wisely, you can be happier and thus more able – to do, to decide, to concentrate, to plan and to adapt- most of all to enjoy all the good things that life has to offer.


Being or to be in the present, is focusing on what’s right now, and what’s RIGHT now. By doing so, you can become highly alert and aware of what you have doing at the very moment. Practice this by taking any routine activity in your everyday life. When you are washing your hands, pay close attention to all the sense perceptions associated to this activity, such as the feel and sound of the water; the movement of your hands; the scent of the soap and so on.

Moreover, having a clear and definite purpose is important too. This will ensures you a certain degree of peace that you can feel within. Thus next time if you want to be happy and successful, remember the word “Being”


After you have mastered the secret of “Being”, there will still exist times when you would be disappointed or unsatisfied with what you have in the present. This can happen when a similar situation that occurred in the past, repeats itself again in the present. Like the past, you are still at wits; end to handle the problem.

It is time that you should go into the past, analyzed what you did wrong at that time, draw valuable lesson from it. Finally apply what you have learnt to the current situation, in order to better improve the present.

For instance, if you’re a student and you make a mistake in your homework, don’t just leave it at that. Find out where you went wrong straight away. Otherwise, you are very likely to repeat it in the examinations. In short, constantly reflect on your past when you want make the Present better than the past.


You life doesn’t stop at living to the fullest each day nor constantly learning from the past. Instead your life begins only when to start to have dreams and aspirations on what you inspired to be in the future. Thus planning for the future comes in to the picture. Though you can set all the fantastic goals you want, you won’t achieve them unless you come up with a plan sand schedule your time so that you will know when to do what.

Firstly, paint a picture of what a wonderful future you would like to see in your mind. Secondly, do the necessary planning to make it happen. Lastly, get yourself to take the consistent action everyday, to produce the great results.

All this will guarantee you to make the future better than the Present.

The Present

1. Being: focus on what is RIGHT NOW. Use your purpose to respond to what’s important now.

2. Reflecting: look at what happen in the past. Learn something valuable from it. Do things differently in the Present.

3. Planning: to see what a wonderful future would look like. Make plans to help it happen and put your plan into action in the Present.

Remember you only exist in the eternal now. Use the Present well to enjoy the present.