I have always been the type of person who lived with the future in mind. Wether this means planning my meals before the day had even started, or making to-do lists days in advance, I find comfort knowing that I am “prepared” for what lies ahead. In some ways, this mindset has served me well: I am rarely behind schedule on school assignments or blog posts, and I like to think that I’m pretty mindful about how my actions today will effect my tomorrow. Little did I know that my so-called preparedness also had a serious downside.
But there were times, when I felt down or frustrated with my current situation, when my attitude transcended simply living with my eye on the future. Instead, I was living for the future. And I’m not talking about a “the sun’ll come out tomorrow” type of thing (Sorry, Annie). Oh, no. I was thinking two, four, ten years down the line. In those darker moments, I always said to myself, “Just wait until (graduation, college, when I’m out of school and have a fabulous job and life etc.), that’s when you’ll be happy.” And, for a long time, I convinced myself that was a healthy way of thinking.
Then, something happened the brought me to a sort of realization. I was listening to a podcast interview, and the guest started talking about how we only have the present moment. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not five years from now. The past, the future, they exist Only. In. Our. Minds.
Those words really struck a chord with me. I sat there, thinking to myself about how I’ve been living the complete opposite of that message. Instead of finding the bright spots in my current situation, I’ve been postponing my happiness. By thinking “Oh, you’ll be happy once x happens” or “Just wait until y,” I give myself an excuse to be miserable in the here and now. The more I think about it, the crazier it seems!
So, I guess you could that that podcast was the wake-up call I needed. From now on, I am going to make an effort to be content with today. Even today is kinda crummy, I challenge myself to find the goodness. In fact, I want to challenge the rest of you to do the same. If any of the above resonated with you, I encourage you to join in with me. Who knows? This mindset shift might be just what the doctor ordered.
P.S. If you’re interested in listening to the podcast mentioned above, you can find it here.