The following is an excerpt taken from Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now - A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. It discusses the importance of focusing on the task at hand instead of the results to experience the joy of being living in the Power of Now.
"So do not be concerned with the fruit of your action - just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. This is a powerful spiritual practice."
Let's take a closer look at this statement and use a practical example for more clarity. As a gardener, it is your responsibility to sow the seed into the soil, water the garden, pull the weeds and ensure no pests devour your plants. That's the action that you give attention to. You cannot make the harvest come in, you cannot make the plant bear fruit, neither is it your responsibility to do that.
With that said, it would be very silly to frustrate yourself over the fruit and be mentally occupied in fear and worry about its appearance. But that's what we do all the time; become so mentally occupied with the fruit time, the results of what we desire, that we lose the joy of doing - the joy of nurturing the garden, the journey.
"When the compulsive striving away from the Now ceases, the joy of Being flows into everything you do. The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction - you don't look to it for salvation. Therefore, you are not attached to the results. Neither failure nor success has the power to change your inner state of Being. You have found the life underneath your life situation."
As the gardeners of our lives, we can find fulfillment and satisfaction even in our mundane daily activities. We can be happy now and not wait for a future occasion, when the fruit appears, to be happy. Looking to the future event or circumstances for our current happiness only puts us in a position of giving our power away to something outside of ourselves. We are left standing on sinking sand and not on a solid foundation of inner peace and state of being.
"In the absence of psychological time, your sense of self is derived from Being, not from your personal past. Therefore, the psychological need to become anything other than who you are already is no longer there. In the world, on the level of your life situation, you may indeed become wealthy, knowledgeable, successful, free of this or that, but in the deeper dimension of Being you are complete and whole now."
Isn't it liberating to know that we are complete and whole now regardless of what our external circumstances display? We can start each day with a new slate freeing ourselves from the mistakes of the past and moving onward onto a better today. As a matter of fact, this state of being opens up the door for the life-giving flow of the Spirit to supply us with all we need.
To discover how you can use The Power of Now to overcome many of the daily struggles faced by mentally living in the past and in the future instead of Now (the present), click to learn more The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.