If you’re like many people, you may be wondering how to avoid futurizing in today’s hectic world. It’s tough–sometimes more than others!
Many people have dreams and goals. That’s a good thing. But quite often, the “chase” keeps them more focused in the future– to the extent that they overlook the joys of the present.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.Buddha
Truth be told, achieving the goals does not guarantee happiness anyway. But that’s a different topic 🙂 The point here is that having hopes and dreams for your future is all well and good. But the only moment you really have is now, the present moment. and so knowing how to avoid futurizing is vital.
Points of Emphasis in How to Avoid Living in the Future
So if you approach your dreams and goals with too much emphasis on the end result ( I have to write this book or I’ll feel like a failure kinda thing) it just adds stress to your life–and who needs more stress?! Not me!
The trick is to train yourself to enjoy the journey, to spend most of your time in the NOW state of mind.
Let’s use the example of having a goal of losing weight. Most of us can relate to this 🙂 A good approach might be to spend a little time each day thinking of the end result: imagine yourself looking how you’d like to look, fitting into smaller-sized clothing etc… Give a bit of thought to your diet and exercise plan for the day. That’s it for futurizing for the day. 🙂
During the day, you pay attention to what you eat and how you move and appreciate the moments and efforts you are making. If you find yourself thinking about how you can’t be happy until you get to that goal weight or otherwise bemoaning the moment, pause.
A pause can be powerful if used, and if used fairly often. It can be a practice such as suggested here. Or something simpler (I shared a FB post once about pausing but can’t find it now–rats!). Just catch yourself as you are “living for” the future goal in your mind…stop, and bring your mind back to the moment. Breathing exercises (even brief ones) are great for being present in the moment. Here’s a great explanation and example from Dr. Andrew Weil:
If you have done something that was out of alignment with your goal, forgive yourself and start anew. If you have not, you can give yourself a mental pat on the back for moving forward on your journey. 🙂
The truth is your life unfolds moment by moment in the present. In the time it’s taken you to read that sentence, about 5 seconds have already passed by. And so it goes.
Embracing this concept can help you realize just how precious your time is, and how each present moment is the foundation to a happier future if you take time to live in the now and learn how to avoid futurizing.
The next post will look at some ways to free yourself to live in the present more fully.