Hi there! Hope everyone is doing good! Today, I am going to sort of follow up on my last post on peace with past, which you can read here if you have not already.
One of the main motivation points that got me into the process of making peace with my past was that I wanted to live in the now. I had noticed that I was frequently visiting my past every day and that was not allowing me to enjoy things as much as I should in the moment.
Maybe sounds a bit cliché but this process helped me let go of my past obsessions a bit.
But then there was the other side of the coin: the future.
Living in the present means not living in the past and not living in the future, analytically speaking.
Yes, I was no longer living in my past that much. But I was still living in the future, despite my efforts not to do that.
Add to this sad picture the fact that I often get obsessive about my goals. Once I set a goal, I give my all to reach that goal. Time, energy, sacrifice. Almost to the level of obsession. I don’t have a very healthy approach to this issue.
But this unhealthy approach seemed to work for a long time. In fact, it got me into places I could only imagine (the high-school I wanted, the university and MA programs I wanted, I got the exact job I had in mind, the PhD program I wanted etc.) So, I am grateful.
Hopefully, you can sense a ‘but’ coming. Because there is one coming.
But something was wrong. I was slowly discovering that I am actually not as much of an ambitious person as I thought I was. And I was tired. Living in my future goals made me exhausted. Constantly being under the pressure of trying to get at some future point.
So, when I got into the PhD program, I promised myself that I would not set any goals for myself anymore because I did not want to live in the future anymore. I just wanted to stay where I was. So, I did not set any goals (still don’t have much of it, really).
This came with a good and a bad consequence.
The good one is that I started learning a lot more about myself, with my mind freed from the pressure of future. In fact, that is the time when I started dealing with my past in an attempt to learn myself better.
The bad one is that I felt lost without an external goal. I was not trained to live in the moment. Without something to direct my energy to, I felt very much aimless.
Coupled with the fact that academia requires you to be on top of everything at all times. Otherwise, you can’t really survive. You should not be lost.
I knew what I should do was to have a goal to direct my energy to but without obsessing over it.
Did I do it?
Nope. Still not.
I am still very much lost, hovering back and forth. Still struggling to live in the moment, but also have a goal to balance my energy.
I don’t know when that struggle is going to end, or if at all. But I am happy that I was, for the most part, able to get rid of major future worries (well, by human nature, I still have a bunch of them, especially if that human is in academia).
The only thing I am convinced entirely is that it does not make sense to get rid of goals, just like it does not make sense to forget all past experiences. The key is to channel them to something better. A past experience can be a lesson you can lead your life by and help others with. A future goal can be a tool to make the best out of yourself. But I still suck at this.
Now, I want to hear your thoughts.
Do you worry about the future a lot? If so, how do you deal with that worry? If not, how did you achieve that state of mind? What are your experiences with dealing with future worries? What is your take on such efforts? How do you define living in the moment? Shoot.