Living in the Now

Donald Trump credits much of his success to living in the now. “I try to learn from the past,” writes trump in his best selling book, The Art of The Deal, “ but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is. And if it can’t be fun, what’s the point?”

Before Trump became Trump, self-improvement guru Dale Carnegie made the same point. In his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Carnegie opined that trying to live in the past, present, and future simultaneously, “frequently leads to tension and nervous breakdowns. You can collapse under the mental burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows.”

To emphasize his point, Carnegie quoted Sir William Osler who said, “The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter.” Osler’s remedy was to “shut the future as tightly as the past…the future is today…there is no tomorrow.”

Would Trump, Carnegie, and Osler advise you not to think about or plan for the future? No, not at all. Trump made it clear that he does plan for the future “by focusing exclusively on the present.”

So the best way to prepare for tomorrow is to focus on doing today’s work the best you can. The key word here is “focus.” Focus on doing one piece of work at a time, instead of worrying about doing all your tasks at once. Nobody has to tell you that the popular term for trying to accomplish a lot at once is “multitasking.” But I’ll give you another word for multitasking. It’s “nonsence.”

The truth is multitasking is not able to occur. As Osler also put it, “You can’t live in two places at once.” And you cannot do two things at once. To try it can blur your focus and confuse your mind.

As you start preparing for the weekend, remind yourself to live for today by doing one thing at a time. As Trump suggests, “That’s where the fun is.” Trump ought to know. He’s shown how living in the now can be both fun and productive.

Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.