Living for today, living in the present moment, is to live for meaning and joy with a focus on the now, rather than the present or the future.  In some life philosophies, living for the moment is destructive, devoid of learning from history and planning for the future, living without understanding the consequences.  In other life philosophies, it is to transcend worry and old pain, to build memories and experiences that will become positive memories, to be free of destructive ties to the past or expectations and “shoulds” of the future.

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The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present.

— James Kouzes and Barry Posner

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.

— James Oppenheim

I know that the purpose of life is to understand and be in the present moment with the people you love. It’s just that simple.

— Jane Seymour

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.

— Joan Baez

Live each day as if your life had just begun.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world. Stand in your own dooryard and you have eight thousand miles of solid ground beneath you, and all the sidereal splendors overhead.

— John Borroughs

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

— John Keats

How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now.

— John Lewis

There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every
Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn.

— Kalidasa, from the Sanskrit

The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day.

— Kenneth Patton

Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.

— Kurt Vonnegut

How do I become still? By flowing with the stream.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.

— Leo Buscaglia

Remember then: there is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!

— Leo Tolstoy

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.

— Lillian Dickson

The eternal life is given to those who live in the present.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last.

— Marcus Aurelius

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.

— Margaret Bonnano

The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now.

— Marianne Williamson

But we are not living in eternity. We have only the present moment, sparkling like a star in our hands — and melting like a snowflake.
We’d better get started.

— Marie Beynon Ray

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

— Mark Twain

Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.

— Mark Twain

Empathy, I would say, is presence. Pure presence to what is alive in a person at this moment, bringing nothing in from the past.

— Marshall Rosenberg

As radical as it may seem, it is possible to do things only out of play. I believe that to the degree that we engage moment by moment in the playfulness of enriching life – motivated solely by the desire for its enrichment – to that degree are we being compassionate with ourselves.

— Marshall Rosenberg

Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.

— Mary Pickford

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

— Napoleon Hill

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

— Napoleon Hill
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