This should actually say: “What if projecting into the future just isn’t for me?”. When it comes to eating healthily, working out regularly, and getting stuff done on time, planning ahead is usually seen as something very positive. Planning, or rather, turning nearly every aspect of your life into one big plan to gain some sort of overview (if done correctly), seems to be imperative if you ever want to achieve anything.
Ever heard of this one?
Granted, doing so might work for some of us (or maybe it has in the past), but for me the days of endless lists, 12-week plans, diary entries, high hopes, and expectations of what is to come are in the past. Or at least, that’s where I am trying to leave them.
Doesn’t this make more sense?
I know some people say “Keep your eyes on the prize,” but I disagree. When your eyes are stuck on the prize, you’re going to keep stumbling and crashing into things. If you really want to get ahead, you’ve got to keep your eyes focused on the path. -Russell Simmons
I have finally realized that I have had enough of focusing on the person I want to become. This other person will always seem so very far away (even when you have made a lot of ‘progress’). The ‘current me’ and the ‘future me’ (as I imagine her) are separated by a strict, detailed, and often dreadful plan that I so often feel obliged to impose on myself. The perfectionist inside me tells me to stick to it at all times. However, failing to do so inevitably makes me reject the plan, the “path”. Usually, this is also when I start beating myself up about failing. Do you still follow?
Instead of putting yourself through this, instead of expecting so very much of yourself, focus on who you are right now and do whatever you feel you should do RIGHT NOW. Not necessarily what you want to do, but also listen to your innate sense of duty, responsibility, and righteousness. Don’t underestimate yourself. You probably know full-well what the ‘right’ thing to do is. If not, this might be a chance to learn, research, and observe!
Remember that things are ever-changing (that’s a good thing) and that we really can’t control everything that happens to us or is going to happen to us. Let go of the idea that the plans you impose on yourself will magically provide you with control over every aspect of your life. This will set you free and allow you to actually live your life.
One Last Thing
Before you say it is impossible to simply accept things as they are, consider the fact that whenever you find yourself in a situation you “would like to run away from”, you are free to do something about it right then and there. There is really no need to whine about it, let it put you down, and make you feel like you need to punish yourself with a super strict plan the following days, weeks, or months. When did a plan used to punish yourself lead to anything worthwhile?
Essentially, planning and projecting into the future always involves wishing things were different. And that, in and of itself, is bound to make you unhappy, or at the very least dissatisfied with the way things are. Chances are that, as soon as you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realize they aren’t all too bad.
Just remember that, as long as you continue projecting into the future, there is no way you are ever going to feel completely at peace.