It can be hard to deal with disappointment. When something you were hoping for or expecting doesn’t turn out the way you’d have liked, it can feel a bit bleak.

Whatever gurus and philosophers might say about living in the now and not dreaming your way through life, we all need hopes and aspirations just to get THROUGH life, as it is, in the here and now.

I’m not knocking it; I’m a big fan of living in the now, but I’m realistic too (on a good day with the wind behind me). Besides, somebody has to run things, to plan, set goals, and generally make sure we can keep the lights on.

I love the Zenny ideas that float about. Living in the now is a reassuring edict, and something I can aspire to. But, the truth is, we’d all sink if we took the tip too literally.

Take a little literally

My advice? Study the habit of living in the now. Practice mindfulness or whatever helps you to get in touch with the inner you and to switch off the mind’s habit of endlessly feeding you thoughts you don’t want or need.

Get good at it if you can, and then use it selectively.

When you are good at it, you can sit back, smugly able to rise above world events and other intrusions that would otherwise upset your equanimity. Remember too that modesty and self-effacement are two of the cornerstones of Zen doctrine, so don’t brag about your OK-ness.

Above all (which you’ll be), keep it to yourself. There’s nothing worse for the rest of us than some know-it-all-latter-day hippy telling us that we should be living in the now, in an enlightened way, in a world that wants to destroy enlightenment.

Trump that, if you can!