I know I’m just a mere 21 years of age, but I’ve already learned that the number of years we’ve spent on this earth do not dictate whether or not we’ve truly been living to the fullest. And, the reason for this, is that people rarely focus on their “future self.”
You may be wondering “what does she mean when she says ‘future self?'” Well, focusing on your “future self” means focusing on the greater, bigger picture of life, rather than merely seeing what’s two steps ahead of you. Sure, it’s important to be present in the moment. Take everything in for what it is and continue moving forward, but often times, present thinking consists of hypotheticals, what ifs, and endless procrastination. I’m all for procrastinating in school, but in life…not so much.
The importance of focusing on the grander scheme of things, life, situations, and well, you, is something we all must realize sooner than later. Instagrammer Cheryl Strayed brought attention to the idea of a “future self” recently in her post a couple weeks ago.
In her caption, Cheryl writes:
“This morning I read an article about The Science of Procrastination, in which psychologist Tim Pychyl talked about how we often put off doing things we want or need to do because we get stuck in the idea of the present self (the person who doesn’t want to do XYZ right now) rather than imagining our future selves (the person who will feel good about having done XYZ)…”
And then the impact of Tim Pychyl’s words truly hit. She realized she was postponing her life. She used to workout, run, and do yoga, but she stopped and would always tell herself that one day she’ll get back to it.
But, when will that day come if you keep postponing it? When will we all realize that if we want a change, we must get up and make it happen?
Well, today’s that day. Today’s the day to make steps towards that ever-so-desired change. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself two questions: “What is my future self going to do?” and “How will my future self benefit from my current, present time actions?”
What steps can we take to focus on our future self?
I took it upon myself to gather up some little words of wisdom from all different walks of life. I asked them one simple question: “If you could tell your past self something now, what would it be?” From this one simple question I got a wide array of uplifting and inspirational answers.
“Life is too short to please people other than yourself. Do what makes you happy and don’t let others diminish your happiness and self worth.”
“Take care of your mind and always remember that your thoughts write your story. If you focus on the things that bring you joy in life, you can, and will, shed any negative thoughts and habits.”
“Your health (mental and physical) should come before anything or anyone else does.”
“You can find the positives in even the worst of situations. Your time is limited, so make the most of it. Pull the trigger. There have been so many people that have said to me ‘I wish I could travel alone’ ‘I wish I could live in another country,” etc. Guess what, you can. The only difference is that I do. I’ve learned to pull the trigger. You get over the nerves, you figure out the money, and you do it.”
So, what can we take away from all of this?
Procrastinating our lives is pointless, useless, and quite frankly, a waste of our time. If you want to see change in yourself and in your life, you have to get up and go make that change happen, it doesn’t just happen on it’s own. By focusing on doing things that’ll better contribute to developing your “future self,” you’re doing yourself a solid. You’ll most likely find yourself looking back and thanking your past self for allowing such growth.