How Do You Live In The Present While Thinking About A Better Future?

This is the dilemma — the trade off for being a visionary or aspirational person appears to be losing an appreciation of the present.


We fall into the trap of thinking of the future at the expense of the now. This seems logical.


By focusing on how things should be better, we’re focusing on how imperfect they are now… leading to a state of discontent.


So we hustle harder, try to do more and go about picking more audacious goals, thinking we must strive towards this better future — at the expense of the now.


Relationships, family, inner peace, calm, time to relax — are all expendable. We are soldiers, fighting for MORE.


I’ve come to believe that this is a lie. A misunderstanding of REALITY.


No soldier wins a war who loses his soul


This is how I would justify my aggression, my work ethic, my delaying of other fruits and rewards. ‘I’m fighting a war’ I said, ‘trying to make the world better, I don’t have time for inner peace or joy now.’


But no regime was ever successfully overturned by fighting fire with fire. The victors of World War I created World War II. The victory of World War II created the Cold War, and so on.


How can I say I will create a world where people stop delaying life to retirement, or until they’re millionaires, and begin living in the present moment… if I feel burnt out, bitter, angry, frustrated, and lose the time I have for the ones I love?


I’m a hypocrite. All I’ve done is hidden the sin on a higher level.


You can only overturn a regime if you aspire to love those you face — if you live out what you hope to see by example, not just speak of it in theory.


If you cannot live it yourself, you will not create it.


Worth repeating isn’t it…


If you cannot live it yourself, you will not create it.


And second, you must think differently about time to survive


Yes, we want to ‘move things forward’ — but there’s a problem with this notion of ‘forward.’


What’s ‘forward?’ — what does that mean? Forward cannot always be better, because so many times throughout history, we have taken one step forward but ten steps back.


In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari suspects that the Agricultural Revolution made life worse — by creating more potential for warfare. While hunter gatherers once roamed freely as nomads, now farmers’ toil and wellbeing became anchored to a single piece of land — if someone came for that land, they had to fight for and defend it.


And what about the Industrial Revolution? What about Colonialism?


So much of what we need to do now is go back. But for man to justify his existence these days, he is obsessed with ‘forward’. But this I say to you…


I don’t know a great deal about time, but I know that it is not the linear illusion we pretend it to be. Your age is a crude number, it means very little, yet it is the thing we agonise over. We think time moves in a straight direction, from the year 0 onward.


But when you look at space, you realise it’s not true. We experience a basic form of this dimension, blurred to us like an infant’s vision, or a dog’s awareness. And we would let our misunderstanding of it upset us so much…


The future is not some separate entity from the now, the present moment.


Neither is the past. For you are a project that has been in development for all of the world’s history. You are the product of two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, and so on… and not only that, but all their experiences.


How then, can you say you’re separate from the past? Or the future for that matter?


Trying to treat the present moment like it’s 9:06pm, on 8th February 2022 is like trying to rip out a page of a book and saying ‘this here, this is a great page, a great story’. It is experienced in itself but cannot be separated from the rest of the book.


You cannot read a book by skipping back and forward — you would ruin the story.


Employ a more multi-dimensional view of time — the present moment encompasses both past and future — you are at any one point in time meant to enjoy the present moment, and the process of engineering what will make the future picture a better one.


Being present is not agonising over the future, not trying to control it, but it is being conscious of it and the effect your actions have on it.


Life is a game of football — you’re winning 1-0.


As I so often say, life is like a game of football where you’re already winning 1-0. You can score more goals, even though you’re already ahead, even though you’ve already done enough. But it you go for more, it should never be at the expense of conceding.


At the same time, at each present moment, you have lost the point of the game if you take it too seriously and stop appreciating what you have. At no point in the game is that an acceptable cost.


The point of the game is to play. The point of the story is to enjoy it.

One page.

One goal.

At a time.


By The Doorman

Want more? Options to get notified of new posts are here.

Leave a comment

You don't have permission to register