Updated: May 28, 2021
“Think about and plan for your future.”
That’s advice I often heard from teachers when I was still in high school.
And just like any regular teenager… I thought about it for a moment, decided haphazardly what I wanted to be, and then chose to live life at the present moment.
“Today is where I am, and I should focus on what’s in front of me rather than what’s still far ahead.”
That was what I told myself back then; that was the mindset I had, and that was the philosophy I lived with during college and my early years in the corporate world.
While some people can certainly afford to think and live that way, the hard reality is that – most of us can’t.
It was a few years after I started working when I realized that there really is a need to think about and plan for the future, simply because it will certainly come.
Ask yourself, which has a greater chance of happening:
- You, reaching 30 years old; or you, dying in a freak accident during your 20s?
- You, reaching 50 years old; or you, dying from a fatal disease before that?
While the negative scenarios can certainly happen, especially if you live life carelessly; they are, however, for most people… very unlikely to happen because all of us are empowered with the will to live a long and fruitful life.
Think about and plan for the future.
These are big words that can often overwhelm and paralyze – I know because it happened to me.
Almost daily, I’d ask and question myself about my goals and where I wanted my life to go, and oftentimes – only uncertainly or silence would come from my mind.
Most of my friends said that it was just a case of quarter-life crisis, but I believed it was more than that. So I just kept on thinking about it and tried my best to plan for the future.
Until, somewhere along the way, I was able to fully imbibe that mindset. I know it came in slow, but it stayed with me and never left.
I realized that life is full of choices, and each time we decide, we are actually choosing between short-term happy moments and long-term joyful chapters in later life.
Should I buy these shoes which are on sale or should I buy that recipe book on healthy home-cooked meals? The first choice will make me look good in the next few months, but the second one will help me become and stay healthy for many years.
Should I go out and watch a movie this weekend or should I stay home and work on a business plan? The first choice will entertain me for a few hours, but the second one will help me get out of the corporate world and quit the rat race.
Should I use this extra money to buy a new smartphone or should I invest it in the stock market? The first choice will make me happy in the next couple of years, but the second one will help me retire early and live comfortably from that time until the rest of my life.
The choice is yours, and I hope you choose to think long-term most of the time.
We all need those short-term happy moments… but remember to start and continue writing those long-term joyful chapters of your life today.