“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
Unless you are living under a rock-your either talking about the economy or someone is talking to you about it. It can be really depressing and can leave a person feeling scared and hopeless. But with everything there is always a bigger picture.
When you worry about what may or may not occur in the future, you miss the joy that is available today - each and every day. So is the answer to focus only on today, and let tomorrow take care of itself? That sounds good - until tomorrow arrives and you are not prepared.
It's a paradox. How does one balance living in the now with preparing responsibly for the future? The key to this dilemma lies in the distinction between "worrying about the future," and "preparing for the future." The two concepts are not at all the same.
I totally agree that "worrying about the future" and "planning for the future" are two different things. I know most people are so worried about what will happen tomorrow that they don't see how much they are missing out on today. I believe in being in the moment because you can never get it back. I'm not saying to go out and spend all your money today-there is no need to act crazy now. Of course, money should be set aside for the future because you never know what can happen. Since you can't control what life will throw at you, you plan for the unexpected while keeping in mind that tomorrow is not guaranteed. This is the great paradox.
Another thing I've noticed is that most people who live their lives saying "when I lose weight, then I'll be..." or "when I ...I'll do..." or "when I get...then I'll..." never become, do, or go anywhere. In one of my favorite inspirational books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, the character Santiago begins working for an old man who owns a glass shop. The old man tells Santiago that when he was a young man he dreamt about making enough money to take a religious pilgrimage. This was a very important dream to him. He kept putting it off year after year because everyday life took precedence and he just never felt it was the right time. Then he became an old man and never went on the pilgrimage. Santiago helped him to raise enough money and he still didn't want to go. So he confessed to Santiago that he was afraid of realizing his dream-that having the dream was more important than fulfilling it. After reading this I placed a note on my work computer that reads: Don't be the old man in the glass shop!
Think about your own lives, what are the things that you put off because a dream dreamt makes you feel more alive than a dream fulfilled. Do you say to yourself any of the following:
When I lose weight, then I will wear certain clothes, feel better, be happier, date more, love myself more.
When I save enough money then I will travel, have a child, or be happy.
I'm going to do what it takes
I'm working on completing my degree