If you could go back in time and change anything about your past…what would it be?
What advice would you give your 5 or 10-year younger self?
Personally, I would definitely do a few things differently.
I would have prioritized saving money, I wouldn’t have taken on so much student loan debt, I wouldn’t have trusted so easily, and I would have worked on my goals harder.
Well, obviously we can’t go back in time and change things. Besides, those things we would change taught us lessons and made us who we are today.
However, right now you can change your future. That’s pretty powerful.
Technically your future is just in your mind. It’s not here yet, you don’t know what will happen, and not everything is in your control.
But the things you do or do not do in your day-to-day life will design your future.
You probably have 5-year or 10-year goals. Or you at least have an idea of where you want to be, what you want to be doing, and how your life will look.
So with that being said, try to imagine yourself 10 years from now and ask yourself the same questions from the beginning.
Would the future you be proud of what you’re doing these days?
Would you look back and know that you did what was necessary to be healthy, wealthy, and happy?
Or has nothing really changed at all?
The things you do today MATTER.
The choices you make, the habits you develop, the people you associate yourself with, the knowledge you gain…ALL of it shapes your future.
In the moment of things it’s easy to think, “YOLO” or “What if I die tomorrow??” but chances are you won’t.
To be clear, I’m not saying to never do anything spontaneous, not to eat bad foods, or not to ever take a break. The problem arises when you treat everyday like that. When you think the present moment won’t effect your future.
Short-term satisfaction leads to long-term displeasure
Satisfaction in the moment feels so damn good that you might not even care what your future looks like.
That means you lack self-discipline.
The satisfaction from:
- eating junk food
- taking a nap
- watching TV/Netflix
- scrolling through social media
- spending money/shopping
…often leads to dissatisfaction later.
If these things happen often (i.e. you make a habit out of them) you’ll be on the fast track to a future of disappointment and a multitude of issues.
You’re creating a future with obesity, health issues, body pains, laziness, addiction, lack of money, unhappiness, and a job you hate.
You’ll look back and regret not taking better care of yourself or paying more attention to your finances. You’ll regret not taking action on your goals simply because you “didn’t feel like it.”
Instead, what if you pushed through the temptation of instant gratification?
You decide not to eat junk food 24/7 but instead prep healthy meals and eat plenty of fruits/veggies.
You decide to go workout instead of take a nap.
You decide to work on your online business instead of scroll through Instagram or watch Netflix.
You decide to invest your money instead of buying a bunch of clothes you won’t even wear in a year.
These things matter.
Every little step and decision plays a role in your future. You shape your discipline and personality by overcoming these temptations.
Shift your focus from how you feel right now to how you want to feel in your future. Let that guide your decisions.
The other problem with not thinking long-term is that when something comes up you’re not going to be prepared.
The reality is that shit happens.
Emergencies, stressful situations, relationship problems, etc.
Some of these things can’t be controlled. However, when these things come up you’re going to think, “Why didn’t I [fill in the blank]?” or “I should have [fill in the blank].”
I should have saved money.
I should have communicated more with my significant other.
I should have taken better care of myself.
If you’re only thinking about the short-term, you’re going to create a future of regret.
Stop taking things for granted
Gratitude is huge in my life and on this blog.
Have you ever thought about how amazing it really is to live in this world as a human?
And if you’re reading this post, you’re probably quite privileged compared to other areas of the world.
So often, people take everyday things for granted.
Your significant other, your ability to walk, your job, the things you own, the internet, all of it.
Day in and day out you just go about doing the same thing. You continue a life of mediocrity by choosing not to prioritize your health, relationship, finances, etc.
Those things may be steady in your life right now, but what if that changes?
Think of how you would feel if your significant other left you or died.
Or if you lost the ability to walk.
Or you lost your job and have no money to support your lifestyle.
That’s a reality for some people. And things could change in an instant for you too. People currently facing those challenges would give up everything to hug their love again, exercise, or have a job.
Take advantage of all these amazing things and appreciate them.
Choosing not to prioritize these things in your life will create a more difficult future. The things you take for granted now, may end up being the very thing you wish you had in the future.
If you don’t exercise and take care of your health now, you’re creating a future with obesity, body pains, disease, and inflammation.
Not communicating with your significant other or treating them poorly, will create an unloving and closed off relationship in the future. Or you may even lose them.
If you don’t take action on your goals now, you’re going to run out of time or lose opportunities in the future.
Look at the big picture and recognize that your ability to improve life in all areas is in your hands. Stop taking it all for granted.
Make your future as real as possible today. If you want your future to look a certain way and you’re not doing the things necessary to get there, then it won’t happen.
Always try to put the long-term first.