Derek Sivers
from the book “How to Live”:

Here’s how to live: Do whatever you want now.


The past?
That’s what we call our memories.
The future?
That’s what we call our imagination.
Neither exists outside of your mind.
The only real time is this moment.
So live accordingly.
Whatever benefits you right now is the right choice.

You know immediately whether you like something or not.
But if someone asks why, you start making up reasons.
The truth is you like it or you don’t.
That’s it.
That’s life.
Do whatever you like.
You don’t need explanations.

When people ask the meaning of life, they’re looking for a story.
But there is no story.
Life is a billion little moments.
They’re not a part of anything.

People think they’ll do something later.
They think they’ll have more time in the future than they do today, as if later is a magical time when everything will happen.
Forget the whole notion of the future.
There is only today.
If you want to do something, do it now.
If you don’t want to do it now, then you don’t want to do it at all, so let it go.

Doing whatever makes you happy now is smart.
When you’re happy, you think better.
More of your brain is engaged.
You’re more open to possibilities and connecting ideas.
You learn better and are more creative.
So forget the future and past.
Focus fully on whatever fascinates you now.

You don’t need a schedule.
Just pay attention to what excites you.
If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, move on to something else.

You don’t need plans.
Plans are just predictions about what you might want in the future.
But your future self shouldn’t be bound to what your past self predicted.
So never make plans.
When someone asks, just say you can’t know until that day.
All you know is now.

Live like a frog sitting on a lily-pad.
When it feels like it, it jumps to a different one, and stays until it feels like jumping again.

Your feelings are wise.
Bad feelings mean you need to take action.
Good feelings mean you took the right action.
Following your feelings is the most natural and rewarding thing to do.

Most problems are not about the real present moment.
They’re anxiety, worried that something bad might happen in the future.
They’re trauma, remembering something bad in the past.
But none of them are real.
If you stop and look around the room, and ask yourself if you have any actual problems right now, the answer is probably no.
Unless you’re in physical pain or danger, the problems were all in your head.
Memories and imagined futures are not real.
The present moment is real and safe.

People with severe amnesia are surprisingly happy.
They can’t remember the past, and they don’t try to predict the future since they have no trajectory.
They have only the present moment, so they enjoy it without burden.
Follow their example.
Forget the past and future.

Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to desire.
Heaven is not what’s at the end of the path.
Heaven is the path itself.

Doing whatever you want, at every moment, is how to live.