Focusing on The Future

Any time I feel like I’m rushing through life, I remind myself something my grandfather has said to me many times.  "When you’re in elementary school, you want to be in middle school with the cool kids.  Then when you are in middle school, you can’t wait to get to high school. Then when you’re in high school you’re ready to get away and off to college, and then once in college you just want to 'start life.'  Then once you have that job you can’t wait to retire and do nothing. Then all of a sudden you are at retirement… what are you going look forward to then? Death?! You’re stuck constantly wishing for the future only to realize the future stops coming at some point.”

Now I don’t know if he took that from someone or if he come up with it on his own (which I would not be surprised at all because he is truly a brilliant man), but you have to admit that it’s a very true observation. Every day I think, “Ugh, I cannot wait for it to be over, I’m so exhausted” or “I just wish I was doing something with my life instead of doing the same thing every day as a college student.” The thing is that I AM doing something with my life. I’m getting an education. It may seem mundane because it was very much handed to me as it has been all of my life, but it’s something that isn’t allotted to everyone. I am choosing to educate myself further in hopes of bettering my chances in the future; however, it feels like I’m stuck as I think a lot of college students feel; you go to class, study, eat, maybe sleep if you’re lucky and then do it all over again with a tiny bit of variety in there on occasion.

While that is a very simplistic overview of a very complex time in our lives, it’s what I often times feel like I am doing with my life. I feel that because I have these set four years in college that I’m trapped in what I can and cannot do. While that may be true to a certain extent it’s really not true in most cases. I know that I am doing the most that I could be doing as a student in college and sometimes maybe too much. I think what happens is that we get so excited for the future and what it may bring causing that excitement to evolve into failure to appreciate the present moment. If you constantly wish for the future, you will lose the things that occur on a moment to moment basis. I have to constantly remind myself of this because it’s too often that I get in the rabbit hole of time and wish for the future. It’s a crazy phenomenon, though, because you think that something better is coming, so all you do is wait and hope for that time to come.  Then when it’s here, you realize you've been sitting here doing the same thing, when you could have done something about it before. It’s not an easy mindset to adapt to on a 24-hour basis, but one worth trying to implement in your life.  I’m not trying to say you shouldn't look forward to the future, because if you never did then what’s the point?!  If you want to implement something in your life, you don’t need to wait until later to do it, or if you want to go somewhere, start planning for it now, so you can definitely make it happen in the future. It’s the notion of getting stuck in the IDEA of the future rather than working towards that future by starting with the now.

The moral of my spiel is that we should try to stay in the present because the future will come regardless, so might as well make the now the best it can be to create a foundation for your goals in the time to come.