Living in the Now VS. Thinking For the Future

TheScreamI find myself in a dilemma. But it’s ok because there is always an answer! (Just don’t know what it is yet.)

My abuelita who raised me had a ‘saying’ for everything. My favorite quote of hers is about life in general and what happens when you focus on dumb stuff:

“If you keep one foot on yesterday and try to put one foot on tomorrow, you’ll shit all over today.”

I sure love my abuelita. ♥ She also had another quote I love:

“In this world, everything except death has a solution.”

So do I live in the ‘now’ or think about my future? Should I upgrade my situation? Should I fix what I have now and try to make it work?

There are so many pro’s and con’s but it really depends on the severity of your personal situation.

Living in the ‘Now’

Pros

Your risk is lessened.

You’re probably not going to hurt anyone by staying stagnant.

You can literally build from where you’re at.

Focusing on one thing, the present, will considerably lower your stress level.

You can wait to see if things get better.

Cons

You are not taking that risk of ‘jumping’ into a new life.

You’re only hurting yourself, if this is really not where you want to be.

Remember you can only change yourself, not others.

Only thinking about the present is limiting your perception of life.

Things may never get better and you’ve wasted time waiting.

Thinking for the Future

Pros

You are (perceivably) getting out of a bad situation.

A new beginning awaits you.

New plans can be started or old goals can be put into motion.

You have the opportunity to not make the same mistakes of the past.

Cons

You might be getting into a worse situation.

You may be hurting others by leaving them behind.

The unknown factors of the future tend to have a way to throw wrenches into plans.

If you keep tripping over the same rock, well then you’ve missed the point.

As you can tell, I tend to be my own Devil’s Advocate. I don’t consider myself to be negative, but I do try to be a realistic as possible. This is why I find myself in this dilemma. These are the thoughts that run through my head whenever I get ready to make that life altering decision.

I wish life were as simple as tossing a coin, à la Two Face style. In the mean time, here are some excellent articles on decision making:

Stacey Lawson: Principal #1: Live in the Now

Thinking in the Future Tense

How To Make Life Changing Decisions

The Brain: How We Make Life and Death Decisions



2 thoughts on “Living in the Now VS. Thinking For the Future”

  • I had wanted to comment on Monday, but the snow absolutely hammered us here in Ohio so I have periodically lost internet connectivity or been up to my knees in snow trying to shovel cars out. Glad I could finally get to this.Ultimately, others can only share with you their own perceptions and ideas. What has worked for them. Which may not always work for you. I feel pretty certain you already know this but I think it's an important caveat when sharing what could be seen as "advice." Only Crysti knows what is really best for Crysti. The true path lies inside of you.As for me, I try very hard to live in the now. To experience a kind of eternal present. Primarily because of my nascent (and poorly disciplined) Buddhist leanings. And I am aware that many Westerner's criticize Buddhism for what is viewed as a kind of deadly passivity. An unwillingness to struggle and fight for change. I suppose it's all in how you look at change and struggle though, and it's all linked to desire, which seems to express itself most obviously in Western culture by materialistic impulses. We want things. Clothes. Phones. Cars. Fine food. And so on. So when we think about changing our lives, most often it is so we can get new things. Better things. Not saying this is what you're thinking, just my observation on a lot of Americans and their perception of their own lives.Anyway, this has gone on too long and I've basically said nothing. A compromise is best, I think. We must think, at least to some degree, about our own futures. Set goals. Work toward them. Especially those of us with children, like you. The true danger comes from thinking that we can accurately predict what changes these goals will bring to our lives. We believe things like "If only I could move to Brooklyn my life would be so much more interesting and I would be so happy." There is no guarantee of that. There is no guarantee of anything in life. So we must find the balance and the peace within ourselves, so that we can be ready and joyful in every "now," regardless of what it brings us.I sure hope that somewhere, in some of this rambling, there is something that makes sense.

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