We all get distracted by the future. What we’ll be doing next month, our distant career goals, thinking about things that are quite literally hundreds if not thousands of days away.
While we’re so focused on the future we forget to actually live in the present. Okay sure, you hang out with your friends and go through your daily life but how much attention are you actually paying? Because it’s fairly likely that the answer is ‘not that much’.
We drift (or fight) through life until we reach a new milestone, and when that milestone is reached we immediately focus on the next. The point I’m trying to make isn’t that focusing on the future is bad, but that we often use it as a distraction.
‘I couldn’t possibly enjoy my weekend, in 32 Saturdays from now I’ll be very busy with that important thing! It’s just plain rude if I don’t torture myself about it for half a year.’
A slight exaggeration but you get my point. By focusing so far into the future we become out of touch with what’s actually going on in our lives. Oftentimes this results in us making poor choices because it’s only the end goal that we focus on.
I know that when I’m unhappy with my current place in life I focus on the future, like years into the future. It might help me achieving some things quickly, but overall leaves me feeling unsatisfied. Thus creating a cycle.
The good news is that that cycle can be broken, and fairly easily. Changing your current life isn’t as huge a task as it may seem. Daily things such as the food you eat, people you socialise with, and places you visit all affect your overall mood. That statement might be a bit of a given, but it’s easy to overlook.
If you often find yourself rushing through life and focusing on the distant future then slow down for a second. Sit and actually think about your life, and how happy you are (or aren’t) with your routine. If there’s lots of things you could improve, then improve them.
For example, my interests have changed in the past few months, so right now I’m working on finding friends with similar interests to me. That’s not to say that I don’t adore my current friends, but that it’s an area in which my life is lacking.
If you’re focused on the future 100% of the time then those little bothersome things don’t even register. Yes, focusing on goals is important- but not more important than enjoying the actual bit of life I have right now. Not to end this brief post on a bummer but, you might get hit by a car in two weeks! Do you really want to regret your daily life?