So, it finally happened. I thought that time will skip me for some unknown reason. Or, give me a bit more, well, time – at least till I’m ready. That didn’t happen, though. I don’t even think that someone can prepare himself for something like this. It just happens and you simply need to adjust yourself on the go. I’ve passed the milestone every 20-year-old is so afraid of passing. I’ve turned 30… A brief moment for tears, sadness, and a walk to the store for an extra pack of napkins… What I learned from 360 months of existence? Not much. Actually, only three things: First, you should treat others the way you want to be treated. Second, you don’t need a lot to be happy. Third, your future depends solely on yourself – with a little push from the people you love.
When was the last time you paused to think deeply about the future?
We get so caught up in our daily activities that we rarely think about what will happen, or what will be our future like. Five years, three years, or even one year from now. We rarely ponder on the big picture.
And why should we? When you look around you will immediately spot a sign saying something like: Live now or Live for the moment. Big retail companies want you to believe that you should treat yourself, constantly: “There may not be tomorrow, why wait to buy this new watch or this new car when you can have it now?”1 We’ve adopted always wanting more mindset, which is pushing us to the stores and making us spend more money, money we don’t actually own. Do it now, or Just do it, has become a byword for a successful living.
In a sense, it should be like that. We should act now. However, nothing extreme is ever good. There is a whole industry formed on the belief that the world is going to end and that we should prepare ourselves for the future. People bought survival packs like crazy a bit before the eve of 2012.2 Which, as you can imagine, is a really wrong way of thinking – at least for me. These people are buying goods with the intention that the world is going to end. Do you think that they sleep well at night? I don’t think so. They probably secretly desire something horrible to happen in order to justify the thousands of dollars spent on equipment, guns, walls, shelters, cans, and water. And, the bliss of telling their neighbor: “I told you so,” when the shit hits the fan.
Being present and mindful of your current work and emotional situation is essential for a good healthy life. Still, we tend to neglect long terms plans for short-term joys. We procrastinate. Postpone decisions, thinking we have enough time.
Why Should You Think About the Future
The greatest fear of all man and women is the fear of the unknown. People all over the world are afraid of what will happen tomorrow at work; When they go on stage to speak at an event: Next year, when they get married. Or, when they pass away. Frankly, nobody knows. Nobody knows what will happen when you die, that’s why so many people are afraid of losing their lives. However, it doesn’t quite matter what will happen. It’s not something you can change. Of course, except, you not ill from something and you have to heal yourself. Your focus should be directed primarily towards things you can influence on.
Let say that you’re going to speak tomorrow in front of hundreds of people. Maybe you will be nervous, maybe the crowd will hate you, or maybe they will love you, you don’t know. You can’t force people to like you on stage. What you can do though, is prepare yourself for the act, which will eventually lead to a crowd that loves you. If you spend enough time practicing, you can still be nervous, but you will be at least confident in your work and the words you’re going to speak.
Same applies to your future. You don’t know what will happen one year from now. You might lose your well-paid job, who knows. What you can do to ensure your future income will be intangible, is to constantly improve yourself and make some sort of a backup plan. Think, plan and then act. As soon as you understand that you’re the designer, the architect of your own tomorrow, the better. Thinking about what’s next will allow you craft the best future for yourself and for your loved ones.
It all starts with a simple exercise: Simply sit, and think. Being alone with your thoughts is a very powerful exercise. A task we tend to neglect.
We Shape Our Future
Between 21 and 25, five out of seven nights I was out, dancing, drinking, hitting on girls. I swear that I don’t remember whole days of my life because of this lifestyle. It was fun, exciting, but it was also something that wasn’t leading to anything productive.
One day I woke up and I hated my whole life. I had nothing stable, besides my friends who were always supportive. I was working at a store, selling man suits for a living. I can’t say that it was a bad job, but it was a job without perspective. I had nothing in my bank account. I was living with my parents and I even didn’t have a car. My relationships with women were plenty, yet shallow. My thoughts and income were focused on the current day. For instant pleasures. I rarely thought about what I was going to do in the future. Around 25 I asked myself for probably the first time in my life, “what I was going to do with my life?” I then figure out, that if I continued the same road I was walking for all these years, I was going to end up either in jail or in some AA club, fighting for sobriety. I had to change something, and I had to change it fast.
Through books, I found inspiration and drive for perfection. I found out that the things that truly matter, are things that take some time to be accomplished. It doesn’t matter how much your mother, father, brother, spouse, or your friends, love you, it’s still up to you to succeed and be happy in your life spawn.
Create Your Own Tomorrow
Future building is not limited to your countries’ government or the Stock Exchange. They do have a role in the lives all of us, but it’s up to us to decide how much they will influence our future. For example, the future of a person who has invested all of his money and possessions in a particular company will be strongly influenced by the future of the company itself. If bankruptcy reaches the organization, the same will apply to this individual.
Another example we can all relate to, is how we make use of technology. Most of us possess a laptop in their homes. However, only a few of us actually use it to earn a living with it. The majority of the population uses this modern machine to stream movies, watch YouTube videos or simply share their thoughts or pictures online. The same applies to our smartphones. It’s how we choose to use technologies, and basically, everything else, is what determines the impact they will have in our own world. A cooking knife is created for cooking, but you can also hurt somebody. One of the actions will help you survive, the other will put you in jail.
Essentially, it all comes down to us. Our own thoughts and our own actions. You, are the one responsible for your own future. Not your girlfriend or your boss. It’s up to you to decide what you will happen in one, two, five, ten years. As the old saying goes: “You reap what you sow.”
People blame their boss, friend’s, mother, inflation, the president, even liqueur when they fail.3 We do it, because it’s easy. It easier to shift the blame to something outside of your self: “My boss is a dumbass. I’m working my ass off and he is not raising my salary.” Even if your boss is indeed unfair to your paycheck, blaming him will not make you any good. It’s still up to you to do something.
What Will be My Future?
You can go to a fortunate teller and ask: “What will be my future,” and he or she can cloud your thinking with well-served stories, mixed with candles and smoke. Even if this wise woman does guess something within time, it will be a mere coincidence.
No one can predict the future, even more, no one can tell with certainty what kind of man/women you will become. Even if you study in law school, that doesn’t automatically means that you will become a lawyer. It’s surely is a possible outcome, but it’s not something 100% certain. After you graduate, you might end up hating this profession. Even worse, feel sorry for all the time and money wasted on something you don’t actually want to do. Don’t worry, it happens all the time.
I don’t practice what I’ve studied in college and I personally know a couple of guys who studied law only because their parents are lawyers. Do they became lawyers themselves? Some of them, yes. Do they love the job? Nope. Most of them don’t. They’re in a very nasty situation: they already have a couple of years of experience. They earn enough money to make a good living, but at what price? Every morning they wake up with a knot in the stomach. They don’t want to get up because they know what awaits them, and they hate it.
Situations like the one above can occur in everyone’s’ life. And they do occur when we don’t plan our future ourselves. If we let others make our own decisions, we will live other people’s lives, not ours.
While my thirtieth birthday was approaching, I grew increasingly concerned about the future I wanted to build for myself and for the people around me. Even though I’m still not quite sure how exactly I will do it, it’s certain, I want to build a better world for the upcoming generation, for my children. Hopefully, this is will be something others will embrace because is not something I can do on my own.
Enough about me, what’s your aim? What will be your future like?
Our current world offers plenty of things that can occupy our minds. Although they are quite entertaining, these things distract our minds and force us to think only about short-term joys: likes, clothes, parties. We anticipate little wins and forget to think about the big picture and the greater process. Who do you want to become? What do you want to create? Where do you want to live? What kind of person do you want to be in love with? What’s important to you? These are only few of the questions you have to be asking yourself in order to build the future you want.
You want to live in a two-story house with a pool at the front? Ok, that’s a good starting point. Now, think about how can you achieve that… It’s going to be hard, I know. Still, if that’s what you want, start planning. Start throwing your thoughts on paper, planning, creating a step-by-step plan the best future for your self.
- I recently stumbled upon this funny video about treating yourself. You have to watch it, it’s insanely funny and describes pretty much our way of thinking- LINK
- 21 of December 2012 was regarded as the end-date. Well before this day the population started building underground shelters, bought gallons of water and food to survive the upcoming “apocalypse.”
- Yes, Jamie Foxx “blame it on the alcohol” – LINK