“The time is now…”

“No time like the present…”

“Just do it…”

Familiar phrases all, often used with the intention to inspire, with a hope that they will promote and propel people to act. Such phrases impress on us that the only time to act is now, that the present moment is where you live your life and that is where you can impact it most.

But exactly when is “now”?

The German psychologist and neuroscientist Ernst Poppël suggests that our perception of the present moment, of “now”, is a period of time three seconds long. That’s a small packet of time. By four seconds we are starting to experience the past, and a mere one or two seconds is perceived to be our future.

Of course, as soon as we’ve opened our packet of time and gobbled down the three seconds of “now” we’re onto the next, and the next, and the next… The three seconds constantly refreshes so we have no perception that “now” is only three seconds long.

Sometimes it is easy to over-analyse and over-plan our lives. We plan in great detail the huge decisions, the grand actions and the big activities associated with our goals and dreams. But in reality, it’s just about the next three seconds. On repeat. That’s your life. And the choices we make in the “now” have the power to significantly impact our entire lives. That’s because your entire life is only ever experienced in the three seconds of now!

When you sit and recall happier times, your mind is recreating those memories in your mind right now, during the three seconds of now.

When you dream of a better future, that dream is being experienced now.

There is no escaping that the time is always now, and your ability to impact your life, achieve your dreams, work towards a goal or target is, and will always be, now.

Now is when you make choices, now is when you act, now is when you live.

Now is you.

Do what you want, just do it…now.


Image credit: Wil Stewart |


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