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“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what is in Fortune's control and abandoning what lies in yours.”
The stories we tell ourselves
Things will be better once I graduate
Things will be better once I move out of mums place
Things will be better once I buy a car
Thing will be better once I get that promotion
Things will be better once I get a girlfriend
Things will be better once the kids grow up
Things will be better once the divorce is filed
The illusion of Tomorrow
Our own minds betray us by creating the illusion of a better tomorrow. To the mind, today is not good enough and we must anxiously await the promised land of tomorrow. Many realize, usually when it is too late that they have fooled themselves.
How many years of waiting will it take you to realize that the quality of your life is not entirely dependent on your outside circumstances? Hedonic adaptation is a real thing.
Tomorrow is not even guaranteed so why do you sacrifice what you have in the moment for it?
Freedom is to embrace the present moment entirely; freedom comes when you realize that life will never change unless you change. If you cannot enjoy what you have now, how are you going to enjoy what you have tomorrow?
But I will have more stuff!
Now you might say, “I will have a better car in the future, and would have paid of my student debt”. This might be true, but the mind will always find new problems to fixate on.
You might have paid of your student debt, but now you have to deal with a cheating boyfriend/girlfriend. You might have got out of the relationship, but now you have to deal with the stress from your job at work. Can you see what's going on here?
Shit happens, shit will always happen, do not for one moment think that the day will come when all your problems are gone. Even those who have attained extensive material wealth, and experienced all the pleasures that they ever wanted Still have problems.
This perfect tomorrow will never come, however you can enhance your experience in the present moment by paying more attention to it. There is no other life, than what you are experiencing now.
What you can do
This understanding of the inherent problems that will arise through out life is not pessimism. It is a realistic outlook that allows you to aspire for developing a better tomorrow without jeopardizing what you have today. You will not be blinded by the illusion of a perfect tomorrow, allowing you to fully embrace today.
With this realization you might find yourself:
- Looking at the sunset more.
- Feeling the breeze in your hair
- hugging the ones you love just a little tighter
- Drinking your tea just a little slower
Come back to the moment, come back to the now. This is where life happens.