… This is our problem,you see. We are not alive. We are not awake. We are not living in the present. Take education. What a hoax. As a child, you are sent to nursery school. In nursery school, they say you are getting ready to go on to kindergarten. And then first grade is coming up and second grade and third grade. And then, when you get to the end of grade school, they say, ‘You’ve been getting ready for high school.’ And then in high school, they tell you you’re getting ready for college. And in college you’re getting ready to go out into the business world with your suit and your diploma. And you go to your first sales meeting, and they say, up the ladder in business if you sell it, and maybe you’ll get a promotion. And you sell it, and they up your quota. And then, finally at about the age of forty-five, you wake up one morning as vice president of the firm, and you say to yourself, 'I’ve arrived. But i’ve been cheated. Something is missing. I no longer have a future. 'Wrong,’ says insurance salesman. 'I have a future for you. This policy will enable you to retire in comfort at sixty-five, and now you can look forward to that.’ And you’re delighted. You buy the policy, and at sixty-five, you retire, thinking that this is the attainment of the goal of life. Except that now you have prostate trouble, false teeth, and wrinkled skin. And you’re a materialist. You’re a phantom. You are an abstraction. You are nowhere, because you were never told, and you never realized, that eternity is now. There is no time.
—  Alan Watts
We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.

‘Peace can only exist in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace. What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Sun My Heart.