“Think about and plan for your future.”
That’s an advise 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 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 this 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.
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