Living for today or planning for tomorrow?

The age-old question – to enjoy the present or prepare for the future? Whether we realize it or not, much of what we do is in preparation of the future. The degrees we attain, the career moves we make, the organizations we join, the relationships we enter and the money we save.

Obviously, the sentiment of future planning is well-intentioned; without it, none of our goals could be met. But on the reverse, what if we plan our whole lives and meet every goal, but never truly experienced any of it?

We save our money for retirement, only to retire and be so used to scrimping that we forget the very dreams we set our savings aside for. We plan a vacation that’s six months away and then we pine for it every moment instead of enjoying those six months. The vacation will come and go, and then we’ll wonder what happened to the six months of life that was just spent waiting.

To truly live is to actively position yourself towards the future you want – with education, occupation, savings etc. – but then to be able to put those on autopilot and truly experience daily happenings – people, culture, significant moments. Life will become monotonous, the same places, same issues, same classes, same workload, and if the future is the only thing that matters to you, the present will never be fulfilling. We become addicted to the idea of what the future could be, but once it arrives, it still feels like the present.

At times life will present moments where future planning is of the upmost importance and it will take the lead. But, once the planner has been purchased and the goals have been set, enjoy the day, the week or month with the people and experiences that surround you.

Ann Keeling