Positive Self-Help Book Review – Notes To Myself (Hugh Prather)

Much has been written about ‘living in the present’ or ‘staying in the moment’ or ‘being here and now’. In this self-exploratory essay and soliloquy, the author reiterates the overarching importance of today…


Today, I want to do things to be doing them, not to be doing something else. I do not want to do things to sell myself or do things for people so that I will be seen as ‘nice’. I don’t want to work to make money. I want to work to work.


Today, I don’t want to live for, I want to live. And the way for me to live is to have no way. My only habit should be to have none. Because I did it this way before is enough reason not to do it this way today.


“What do I really want to do in life? What is my purpose? ” My assumption is that I have a reason for living, that my life has a direction. But maybe we are not moving in one direction any more than history is…


There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorize, a part that wants to sculpt…To force myself into a single occupation, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill of large parts of me. Rather, I recognize that I live now and only now and I will do what I want to do this moment and not what I decided was best for me yesterday.


I often say to people, “I always do so-and-so” or “I never do so-and-so,” as if my individuality depends on such banal consistencies. “Next time I will…” or “From now on I will…” What makes me think I am wiser today than I will be tomorrow? Do I really think there is anything more profoundly true about my interpretation of the situation, now that I’m in bed than there was when I was in the middle of it this afternoon?


Meaning does not exist in the future and nor do I. Nothing will have meaning in the long run. Nothing will mean tomorrow what it did today. Meaning changes with context. My meaningfulness is allowing here and now. I may not even live to see the morning.


But it’s morning again. I have given another day. Another day to hear and read and smell and walk and love and glory. I am alive today.


I think of those who aren’t.


Editor’s Note: This article is not so much as to remind us of that ‘cold breath of mortality on one’s neck’ but to try appreciate the positive transliteration of carpe-diem or not to put off for tomorrow what can be today!


Bhaskar Dutta is a self-help author and IT specialist based in London.

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