Zero error in a measuring instrument is when the indicator gauge is not on the zero position and which gives faulty readings, that is, too high or too low depending upon where the gauge is located. A similar problem of zero error afflicts us human beings too, with some of us being past-oriented, that is reminiscing and trying to relive our past. Others are banking upon the future when they will live and enjoy themselves. Practically, everyone is guilty of this, with some more guilty than the others.
The past is useful for having given us valuable experiences and lessons and the future is useful for motivating us to make further progress but we have no choice except to live in the present and also to accept it. However, most of us don't, even when the present may be reasonably good by normal estimation for many of us, for we refuse to accept the present, the reality. What does this tell ? To suffer has become our nature and we are naturally inclined to suffer no matter how well we may be placed in the present.
Besides this zero error in our attitude, we also suffer from two additional problems. ADD or the Attention Deficit Disorder afflicts many of us. This means we are not fully cognizant of our surroundings. lt is a form of autism though not in its ugly form. This is because we are either too engrossed in the past or in the future. And there is the problem of our attitude which is mostly negative - we see the negative side of what we have and the positive side of what others have. Between the zero error, ADD and our negative attitude, we manage to live quite miserably even though we may be quite well placed. Take, for example, a businessman who has done well but is constantly worried about his future and does not relish whatever he has achieved thus far. Any sensible person can predict that this businessman shall not be happy in the future either, since success means nothing to him while the future solely does.
Our present is the end-product of whatever we have been and its non-acceptance is rejection of our own self. The present is due to our efforts of the past and if the same is so useless then we can easily surmise that the future shall be similarly rejected when we get there. Our being dissatisfied with the present proves that we have no real idea as to what shall make us happy ; no wonder so many of us suffer from depression.
How can we get out of this silly mind-set ? This true incident shall help. In the erstwhile Soviet Union, bureaucracy was present in its worst form. The bureaucrats would invite tenders and just sit over them. They would call the bidders for negotiations and not meet them for days together. With restrictions on movement and no television in the rooms or any other recreation available, one can imagine what torture this must have been for the businessmen from the West. Most of them would persevere for a couple of days, get frustrated, pack their bags and leave. One person I know, went there prepared for a long haul ; he persevered and walked away with many orders.
The present is the only reality and an intelligent person makes the best use of it. This does not mean that one does not strive for a brighter future since making progress is essential to keep us satisfied in future also.
Scientists have calculated that most human beings utilize only 10% of their potential. We can add that most of us utilise only a fraction of our present. We not only need to become mindful of our surroundings but we also need to make the best use of it. Let us set our gauges to the zero position that is squarely in the present moment, which means we must accept the present as it is.