Life is full of lessons and learning curves, right from the second we are born. Upon the complexity of some of these lessons lie lessons of much simpler rationales. Easy as they may be to understand on the surface, some things aren’t always that straight-forward, or so we tell ourselves. I’m a huge believer that there is no time like the present, but yet hypocritically, at times I’ve seemed to master the art of procrastinating or forming a naive notion that in time things will work themselves out. Of course, in time, many things do work themselves out. Little problems or worries sometimes fade with time. However, the truth will always remain that for those places you see yourself to be and those visions of how you see your future-self to be, they require effort.
Time is precious, and humans with our highly developed brains, awareness and finely-tuned cognition still have this remarkable ability to over-estimate the enthusiasm and energy of our future-self. You know what I’m talking about. Many people possess this detrimental tendency to seek the present benefits of delaying a task that we know will be of great help in the future. Now means so much. It is our felt emotions, it is the thoughts we are currently processing, it is the actions we are partaking and it can simultaneously be the felt affects of past and future events. There can be a lot happening and the thought of adding more to the agenda can be daunting and tiresome. With so much going on in our ‘now’, it can be easy to fall into the delusional trap that our future self will have much less of our current now to deal with. That self-deprivingly, what we want to accomplish will be better left until then. What we often fail to understand however, is that our future-self is very often an identical replica of our present-self and will have just as much s*** going on (possibly even more) I know it’s relieving to adopt that optimistic outlook, that tomorrow or next week we will be much better equipped with bundles of energy and drive to achieve what it is that doesn’t seem all that great to achieve right now. Be honest with yourself for a second, how often have you been glad for leaving something until later? Because in my experience, it’s usually the opposite (AHHHHH, why didn’t I do this when I had so much more time?!) The naive delusion of how wonderfully our future-self is going to cope with whatever we throw at it is one of the greatest contributors to that ol’ chestnut of procrastination. Why? Because the person who is delaying these tasks NOW that can really help build upon your own specified vision of success is that exact ‘amazing’ future-self that was perceived in the past. How you are now is the conceived future-self of the past. Is it accurate? Are you handling those procrastinated tasks as brilliantly as you imagined you would, or have they been pushed further along to another generated ‘even greater’ future-self?
You see, what I’ve come to understand is that life rarely slows down. Whilst we imagine it will and whilst our diaries may be emptier next week than this week’s, we really do favour underestimating demand as opposed to over-estimating. I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that whatever it is you want or need to do, it’s very unlikely to be any easier in the future, so in the words of Shia LaBeouf, JUST DO IT! Of course there are exceptions, I mean I’m not saying spend all your money and buy that expensive new technology NOW because it won’t be easier in the future (it will, erm, save…) I’m just encouraging the belief that accomplishing set objectives and taking challenges in your stride with a spontaneous and ‘right, let’s do this’ attitude may just help build your character more so than when it’s finally completed after weeks of putting it off and you’re just so glad to see the end of it. The contentment after a productive present will be a lot more rewarding than the chosen contentment before. We all know from experience how messy and stressful situations can arise from those ‘oh, I’ll do it tomorrow”s because a NOW without that problem seems much more desirable. We’ve an incredible ability of noticing mistakes, identifying the problem but we’re not always so great at taking that preventative action. Maybe it’s time to accept the reality that life isn’t a road in which a smooth ride with minimal hills, bumps and turns is the best thing to seek. Maybe a journey with obstacles and struggle is the best way to challenge oneself and to grow. Take a break from trying to subtlety and craftily avoid disruptive factors that may seem easier to ‘deal with’ later; they’ll be waiting for you more tedious than ever. Acknowledge that there is no time like the present and know that in life you will always get out what you put in.
Embrace the challenges of the now – your future-self thanks you.