Imagining the Future

Agree or Disagree: Imagining the future can help you make decisions today?

I just came across this and found it rather interesting.

I grew up imagining the future. It looked a lot like the America Dream; or the system in which we enter as a young child.

School, good grades, graduating, getting a job, marriage, climbing the ranks at work, increase in salary, buying a home, having a family.

The whole scene.

But then I got to a point in my late twenties where I realized that what I was promised through chasing the American Dream wasn’t making me happy.

So I began to question it. Specifically, the how.

This is when I started the Unless You Care project—a painful time in my life led me here. A tiny corner of the web for us to surrender and ask questions.

At this time stress and anxiety were at an all time high. A feeling that I have never felt before and one I don’t wish to feel again.

Because of that, I became selfish. I knew I had to.

I became selfish in the standpoint of taking care of myself first, spiritually, emotionally and psychically, in order to give my best self to others.

Imagining the future pulls you away from the present.

As I began to ask questions I was realizing that imagining the future was taking me away from the present moment. I thought that it immediately drew my blinders blocking the spontaneity of life.

So I stopped imagining and planning for the future and started focusing only on the present moment.

This is what was driving my decisions for today, the present moment; self-care. Not the future that I had painted and imagined for myself.

Maybe I did this because I just didn’t know what I wanted then, I still don’t really. Or maybe it was because I was at a point in my life where I shouldn’t have known.

Maybe I needed to experience more to learn more. Maybe I needed to equip myself for such a journey and build self-care equity at a time when I didn’t have any.

Looking back and connecting the dots, I believe this was the universe telling me that I indeed shouldn’t be concerned or focused on imagining the future while in the present moment being ridden with pain.

It was the universe telling me that in order to even get a glimpse of imagining the future, I needed to take care of myself first, now.

Intentional self growth is continuous change.

Alienating the future I had envisioned for myself and focusing only on the present moment me, evolution and change, in all aspects of my life began to form.

Traveling a journey of intentional self growth has transitioned the lens in how I think about the future once again.

The more and more I spend time with the UYC project, the more I grow from writing and connecting with you, UYC readers, the more I am realizing that it is indeed essential to imagine the future to help make decisions for today.

But there’s a caveat.

For me, I don’t imagine the details.

I don’t see myself sipping ice tea on the beach listening to the waves roll in and out. I don’t see myself striving to achieve, what society labels as success, by climbing the corporate ladder and making more money.

In fact, I don’t see anything. I don’t want to see anything.

Instead, I imagine how I want to feel.

I have a specific feeling that I am seeking to achieve. And lately, I am doing one thing each and every day to get to that feeling.

I want to feel freedom; in all aspects of my life.

The context to how it gets achieved is the path I am embarking on now. I’m listening, intently, to what my life is trying to tell me. I’m letting go and trusting the process.

Just like when I first started the UYC project, my life was telling me not to focus on the future. Instead, focus on bettering myself now so there can be a future worth living.

It’s listening to those subtleties that we often gloss over.

It’s exercising the mindfulness muscle to become aware of those subtleties; to provide the space that’s needed in order to recognize them.

So yes, I do agree. Imagining how you want to feel in the future can help you make decisions today.

Your turn.

Agree or Disagree: Imagining the future can help you make decisions today? Share in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Luis Hernandez

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About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.

3 Comments

  1. Bhumi Patil

    This very much interesting at the same time very confusing that weather we gotta think about our future or the present!

    You expressed your thoughts really well! Thank you

  2. This writing is great. I like the sentence where you said, “Maybe I did this because I just didn’t know what I wanted then, I still don’t really.” And, also the part about sipping tea on the beach, & climbing the corporate ladder. I want your drive to move forward in my life. Great writing and thanks again for the motivation. I agree that some vision of the future should be there, in order for us formulate a plan to get there. As long as that plan doesn’t become an all-encompassing, and life-taking effort. I think maybe a daily “what can I do to be better than I was yesterday?” is a good start.

    1. Eric Ungs

      I completely agree David 🙂 I think when we focus on that, the dots some how align and connect.

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