Dealing with the future: How about waiting till the time is right?

The future is scary, right? A huge abysss ahead. And it’s scary at every age. Our fears for it might change in nature between the ages of 10 and 70 but, deep down, they are the same fears at all times – fear of failure, fear of unhappiness, fear of the unknown. 

The natural response to this is often to want to control things. We seek to make detailed plans for the future, try and see into our futures and speculate, and we have a tendency to want things to happen too quickly, for fear that they might never happen in the big scary future.

The problem with this is that it prevents us from living mindfully and in the present moment. We can so easily forget about the goodness of the present, or the past, because we are so preoccupied with what might happen next.

Now, planning is great. Planning allows us to explore options for the future, it focuses our aims and helps us understand our values. By all means, plan. Look to the future with open eyes and an open mind, set goals and pursue your dreams.

So plan. And then take your plans, store them, use them as something to work towards – but if something in the plan isn’t how or when you hoped, it’s okay. Let things fall into place. Trust in your journey, trust in your plan, trust in yourself. 

If something you planned to take 6 months takes 10 months instead, that’s fine – you’ll have learnt even more from the experience. An event that didn’t happen in a year might not occur for 2 years, and when it does you’ll be more ready than ever. If you thought you’d be at a certain point in your professional life or your relationship by Date X, and you aren’t, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Do some reevaluating and assess the situation, but there might be a reason you aren’t there yet, and it’ll work out when it is supposed to.

Maybe this message requires some kind of faith that someone, or something, somewhere – will ensure all falls into place. If you already have that faith in a higher being then that can be very useful. But even if you don’t, your faith can be in yourself and your plan. It’ll work out when it is supposed to work out, because you want it to work out. Be patient and be present.

There is a fine line between proactivity and overplanning. Proactivity involves actively looking to the future and making choices about who and how you want to be. Overplanning can actually be quite limiting.

The next time you feel frustrated by how things are going, remember life is a journey and maybe you just need to wait until the time is right.

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