We usually fail to take advantage of the present moment. I’ve realized this in my own self-reflections. I usually do a half-assed job of tuning into my reality by preoccupying my mind with never ending fantasies about the future. Truth be told a lot of my friends complain about the same flaw in their personal lives. Yet, the thing that scares me the most is that by neglecting the present we set ourselves up for unconsciously empty futures.
Everyday we wake up was once considered the future and eventually will be considered the past. To kind of un-Christopher Nolan this statement think about what happens if we fail to water a plant on a daily basis. It dies. Well what happens if we water our plants every other day or every three days? They still end up dying.
To flourish and grow into whatever we want to become we have to water ourselves daily. Sometimes this means pulling ourselves out of the dirt and replanting ourselves in new environments that align with our ambitions. There is a reason why palm trees don’t grow in California but can strive if transported later in their lifetime.
However, excessive watering regardless of the dirt we grow in leads to flooding and death. Whenever you envision your desired future remember there is no way to bring dreams to life overnight. Unnecessary luxuries and temptations are the biggest threat to our positive growth. Visualize the life you wish to lead in a year. Then dream up the life you'd want in five. Those realities may be far from your current stage but not because you’re unworthy for them. Simply because you have time and work to put in before you grow into that version of yourself. Don’t allow your future aspirations to blind your day to day vision. Remember your future self is here today in what you once considered the future. Here are a few ways to invest in your future and provide yourself the proper nutrients of growth:
The list I provided is pretty self-explanatory except for the final piece of advice: Be yourself and learn to let go. I once overheard my grandfather tell my dad: ‘Every man has a vice. For some it's drugs, money, women, or even self-indulgence.’ It never fully registered in my mind but now as I grow older and see friends of mine lost to the most obvious addictions of life I wonder what dependencies within me have forced me into making decisions that were not true to my character. My drive is in my passion and somewhat obsessive relationship with filmmaking. The gift and curse of being an artist is our craving for success, if unchecked, can become an addiction.
So in my own life I strive to rid myself of the need to be praised publicly for my achievements. I create honestly to please myself and those who can relate to me. According to the stoics a truly dedicated and talented craftsman has no need for fame. It comes as a pest may come to harm a plant after its grown.