Much of our world today is set upon the future’s stage. Say climate change, MPAs, China’s biggest telescope, GMOs, investments, tipping workload, higher education, marriage, family. That is, we invest most of our time and energy today towards pleasing and taking care of our future selves. We’re fond of making things right today so we don’t mess up what’s ahead of us.
While on this mindset, I think about not dying, being financially secure by saving extra money, being thoughtful about my purchases, setting defaults with my food choices, culling my hobbies and interests to potential skills, and pursuing further education. And to what end? Still, the future.
That doesn’t mean that this realm of thinking excludes the present entirely. Rather, we can still live in the moment while still heading towards honing our future selves. We can attain balance not by focusing on the outcomes, but on concrete actions, not on getting it polished the first time but getting good enough with possibility of failures.
We can’t control our future, especially the pleasing outcomes we fantasize, but how we spend our days – the details in between – matter. What we do today bares possibilities for the future.
I’m future-focused so here are things I do to please my future version: I had my two upper wisdom tooth removed to avoid future discomfort. I’ve been watching anime for years now but never thought I’d be interested in learning Nihongo. I discovered I loved words in high school and to give justice to what good I’ve harbored from reading, I decided there’s never a right time for anything worth doing. I wrote a blog.
It’s just 2017 yet we’re building the foundation of our decade-older self.
And it’s okay to be on this realm of thinking ahead, if not obsessively to the point of missing the chance to live the best we can at the moment.