I don’t like thinking too much about the future, after all we can only live in the present moment, and thus we should focus on that. But there’s something that I’m thinking more and more lately, and that’s helping me to get a lot of motivation.
It all started with a quote, and it developed in a more general way of thinking.
Ten years from now, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do, not the ones you did.
That’s definitely true. I don’t regret the past for the things I did, indeed I would repeat everything I’d have the chance, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having pushed my boundaries further.
Whenever I think about this, I realize how many opportunities we waste by occupying our mind with the wrong things.
I want you to do a simple test, it wont take you more than a few minutes, and I think it’s very worth your time. Take some paper and write down 10 things you were worried about yesterday. Don’t think too much about them, just write down quickly what’s coming to mind. Got them? Good. Now take a look at them, chances are that one or two of those are something that’s already solved, or something that didn’t matter at all. Now do the same test, but this time try to remember 10 things you were worried one year ago. Chances are that you’re having an hard time remembering about them.
The truth is that we constantly fill our mind with beliefs that are simply not true, or that don’t matter at all. By constantly thinking about the past and the future we are giving up liberty and creating stress. We are thinking too much. It seems odd at first, but the only way that you’ll be proud of yourself ten years from now is to stop thinking about time and to start focusing on the now.
Now is the only time where you can make a difference, where your thoughts are clear, and where everything matters. What happened 1 minute ago is gone, as projecting the future is pure fantasy. Sure, you can always plan based on your previous experiences and with some output in mind, but you can only accomplish your goals by focusing on the present moment. Now, not tomorrow.
I want you to go back for one second on the first list you previously wrote. Now scroll down each item and ask yourself: “Does this really matter in the present moment?”. Problems don’t exist in the present moment, nor do feelings. The present moment is a gift you have, and you can decide wherever to enjoy it, or ignore it by projecting into the past and the future.
But how do you deal with problems? After all life is full of challenges. The simple answer is that you don’t. If a problem doesn’t matter in the present moment then it doesn’t exist. The moment you really have to deal with it (if at all), you give it full attention and then you return on your own things.
But wont you stop to grow that way? No. I do have goals I want to accomplish this month and this year. But I have to work on them now in order to achieve them. Tomorrow will never come.
Even when you work for someone else, there’s a chance that you don’t really enjoy what you’re doing. But if you focus on the now you’ll find it easier to get things done. And if you get things done and you enjoy it (you will if you focus on the now), you’ll be more happy, you’re boss will notice your progress, and you’ll enter into a snowball of positive changes.
So let’s get back to 10 years from now. I sincerely don’t know wherever I’ll still be alive by then, and who I’ll be. But I know one thing for sure, and that’s I would want to have lived my life to the fullest by then, and I can only achieve that by living my life now.
Live your life to the fullest. Now.