Thinking about the future is a habit, you catch yourself doing it all of the time. It’s not something you do on purpose, it’s become automatic over time. Is this a bad habit? Well, yes and no, you have to think about your future at least every now and then. How else are you supposed to plan ahead of time so that your life doesn’t turn into a giant mess?
The more you start to think about your future, the more uncertain you get. This isn’t a good feeling by any means but it has its benefits believe it or not. For one, it’s good to think about your future so that you can be organized for when that time comes. Also, it helps to keep you motivated when times get rough or you feel like you don’t know what to do.
Often times, we tend to think more about how much better our lives can be in the future than it is right now.
We’re all not blessed to have the same living conditions but what we do have is our minds. Our minds are powerful, what we believe to be so can come to fruition in the future. Having the mindset that we live a good life now will not get us anxious about the future.
As long as we tell ourselves that our life isn’t so bad now, we won’t have to worry about our life getting too bad in the future. Having the mindset of “things can always be worse” will get you ready for life’s tough obstacles and will help you stay grounded.
We tend to neglect all the blessings that are in our life now because we’re blinded by what we think are much “bigger” blessings than we could have. Is it bad to want a nice house, car, and money in the bank? No, it’s not, but when we start to depend on these things for happiness and when we make these materialistic things an actual goal we start to lose sight of what’s in front of us. This is when life starts to become stressful and we get scared for the future.
Create More Short Term Goals
Instead of being motivated for the future, we should strive to be motivated for the next few months or years. We should stay away from thinking too much about the bigger picture.
Let’s be honest, as much as we want our dream job and to have an expensive and fancy lifestyle, it’s scary. We have to deal with “rich people problems”. This may not sound bad but is described to be more stressful than the lives we live now.
There’s only so much we can control in our lives and for us to think that we have control of our lives in 10 plus years from now is kind of crazy. Of course, we can do things each and every day to get to that place we want to be one day but that starts with more short-term goals.
Short term goals are goals that we set for ourselves within the next few weeks or months that allow us to not get too carried away with long term goals. Long-term goals can be a lot to handle, especially with the crazy times we're in now in 2021, it's better and easier to take it one day at a time.
Many of us think we have to set a bunch of long term goals in order to be successful and to feel fulfilled but this is not the case, having short-term goals keeps our lives exciting. We don’t have to stress about being one of the most successful people in the world when we’re focused on much smaller and productive goals like becoming a kinder and wiser person.
Even though these goals require some time and effort too, they’re a lot more manageable to deal with than having a certain amount of money in our bank account. Have you ever actually thought about what you would do if you were to reach your “out of pocket” goals?
After you see that magic number in your checking account, what else would you want to accomplish? Will this amount of money really bring you the happiness that you’ve been craving your whole life?
The Future is Out of Your Control
Don’t worry about something you can’t control. A lot easier said than done but this seems to provide help to a lot of help to people (including myself) in the self-help community.
It goes back to the philosophy of stoicism were one of their main ideas they tried to push out which was being in control of the things that you can control like your mind and your actions.
They emphasized that you shouldn’t stress over external factors such as rain, traffic, or how people view you. Once this is understood, a layer of peace will be added to your life. We look at people either on social media or t.v. that is the same age as us or even younger who seem to be a lot happier than us, a lot richer than us, and have a lot more freedom than us.
This puts our future into question, have we’ve been going in the wrong direction all of our life? It’s not entirely about the decisions we’ve made because everyone has made regretful decisions in their life but it’s about making the best out of what we have in our life now.
Being more open to opportunities is a start, we often have a lot of opportunities presented to us but we don’t give them a lot of attention because we know that they, for one, will not give us overnight success, and two, we don’t have time to take up those opportunities.
Life gets scarier every year, in order to cope with that horror, you have to live in the present moment. Take that into consideration the next time you feel anxious about a new job opportunity or when you have to give a presentation in front of your classmates or coworkers.
Your future is nothing like you think it’s going to be, think about how you thought your life was going to be now from a couple of years back. Use the present moment to your advantage and learn to be ok with it because at the end of the day it’s all you have.
Celebrate Your Life Often
It’s nice that we celebrate our life on our birthdays but it’s even better when can celebrate our life every month. I encourage you to start doing something nice for yourself every week or month. This doesn’t even have to be with buying yourself something expensive, especially if you don’t want to go broke but just doing something like going for a long walk or letting yourself get an extra hour of sleep at night.
The life you have here on earth is limited and your future isn’t promised. Try to steer away from regret and live your life in the now. You will get more things done and accomplish a lot more goals when you have a sense of urgency in mind. Remind yourself that you have options, the option to give up or the option to keep going.
Live your life in a simple manner. Don’t think too much about the future only think about your life now, at the present moment. I’ll leave you with a quote from Søren Kierkegaard that says
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”