I have recently been thinking about the importance of living in the present. People these days tend to live in the future rather than in the Now. They worry about deadlines, tests, social events, and other things that really don't matter in life. I want you say the phrase "so what?" out loud. Go ahead. In regards to one's worries in life, 99% of them are not worth worrying about. So what if a test is failed. So what if a project is turned in late. So what if you don't get a date. Things such as these should have no affect on your happiness, for that comes within. This of course relates back to the several essays on attachments that I have already written about.
To go beyond the nonattachment mentality, we arrive at the state of being of "the now." One who inhabits the Now doesn't need to hear "stop and smell the roses", for their entire existence is all about the roses per se. One who lives in the Now truly sees reality, for no other thoughts or worries are present in their being. They truly see the tree by the road because it takes up all of their attention and concentration.
I'm reminded of a story found in The Song of the Bird by De Mello. A samurai was captured in battle in ancient Japan. He was stuck in a cell after being brought back to the enemy's castle and was sentenced to death on the next day. He tossed and turned the night before, unable to sleep until he remembered the words of his master: "There is no future, there is only now." Upon remembering this, he smiled and fell right asleep.