live for the future

It seems to me all of us have at least one choice that is constantly before us.  The choice to live in the now, or to live for the future.

If you choose to live for the future, it means you may one day be able to realize some pretty impressive dreams.  If all of your energy, time, and resources are channeled toward one vision of something you could do or have in the future, you stand a pretty good chance of making that vision a reality.  People with a vision may be sacrificing a little right now, they may be channeling so much of their resources into their dream that they have to get by on less in the present.  But you rarely hear them complain about it.  It’s almost like they don’t realize they could have more now.

On the other hand, if you live in the now, your life likely contains the things that make you happier right now.  You may have more DVDs, a bigger house, and eat out more.  You may or may not feel richer with all this stuff, but people who sacrifice dreams for the present are frequently unsatisfied with their current income or the amount of stuff they have.  It seems more isn’t enough.  Although people with dreams may not achieve them, people who sacrifice their dreams will never achieve them.

It is often difficult to sacrifice current desires for a nebulous future.  Here’s a mind trick that may make it easier.  Imagine yourself 20 years from now.  If all you can see it what you’re doing now, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities.  If you see yourself living a very different life, do you think you have a better chance of achieving it by living large right now or by planning carefully for the future?  That’s what  I thought.

This post originally appeared in the March 19, 2008, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.

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