I heard a quote last week that said: If you are so focused on the future, where are you now?
This had me thinking…a lot.
This entire summer, I have been constantly thinking about my future and questioning so many of my choices because of it. I work four days a week at an internship because I think it will help me get into business school, or at least help with getting a job after I graduate; I study every day, sometimes for hours on end, for a test so that I can eventually further my education even more with a master’s degree. I am saving money so that in a year I can move and I will have some dollars put away as a safety net.
At first glance, these plans and actions are great. I am being responsible, working toward sustainable goals, making the most of my last summer as an undergrad. But what makes these actions concerning (at least, to me) is the thoughts that go along with them. With the studying comes discouragement and self-doubt whenever I get too many questions wrong or don’t remember vocabulary terms. And with the internship comes the lack of sleep and sluggish mornings. I love what I am doing, but I get caught up in being “good enough” or “prepared enough”or even “intelligent enough.”
I became so focused on my future that I stopped paying attention to the harmful thoughts of worry and self-doubt that I was having in the present.
As humans, we are not perfect. We are inherently flawed. So if this is true, then why should we get down on ourselves for making mistakes, for taking things slow, for not knowing exactly what our next move is or what we will end up doing after we graduate college?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being prepared. I am trying to prepare myself for my future so that I can live a worthwhile, sustainable, happy life later on. But it is just as important (if not even more important) to pay close attention to our thoughts and feelings in the present.
Me writing this blog post is not to say that I have had a sudden 180-degree flip or a change of heart and now I have a miraculously better mindset. I still have a lot to learn. But what I truly need to pay attention to is life is a journey, and where I am now emotionally and mentally affects where I want to be in the future. Becoming content with the present is a huge step in life, and I am going to make a point to do so.
Please share anecdotes, thoughts, and stories of your own journey with me as I continue to write and learn about my own.