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When you’re laying on your deathbed, you’re not going to wish you lived for more tomorrows. You’re not going to be thinking about unimportant things or what other people thought of you.
Eventually you run out of tomorrows to live for and that’s when you realize all you had was now.
You spend all of this time catering to other people’s fleeting thoughts about you, only to realize you never actually thought about what you wanted to be.
Are you living for the next thing?
Is your life right now all about something that’s about to happen? Are you fixated on something that takes place in the future? Are you waiting for something to start, end, move, change, improve, or go away before you believe that life has started for you?
If you’re living for the next thing, here’s three things to consider:
- It might not happen.
- It might not turn out the way you hoped.
- It might be exactly what you hoped but you missed out on all the good in life along the way.
Don’t Live for the Next Thing
Eventually, you have no more tomorrows. When you live for the next thing, you simply build the habit of living for the next thing. You never actually experience any lasting satisfaction when you get there. All you’ve exercised is the muscle of living for the next thing. That means you have no practice in:
- Appreciating what you have now.
- Appreciating where you are now.
- Appreciating your accomplishments now.
- Appreciating your circumstances now.
All you know is living for the next thing. That means even when you get it, you have no choice but to find a replacement. It’s a never ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
Find the Good Things Now
There are always positives and negatives to every season of life and you’ll always find what you’re looking for.
When you get to the place you want to be, there will be things you enjoy. There will be benefits you don’t have now. But there will also be more responsibilities. There will be more challenges.
Things will be better and they will be worse in different ways. If you look for the cons, you will find them. Why not look for the pros?
Build the habit of finding things in the now to appreciate.
When you make it to where you want to be, you will actually be able to appreciate that moment.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I’m a chronic perfectionist. My standards for perfection are unrealistically high. It’s true, the details are what make something. The sum total of small details will produce a greater result.
However, there comes a time when you reach a point of diminishing returns. Eventually this obsession with perfection is downright wasteful of time and resources. It takes an objective maturity to know when that line is crossed.
In the grand scheme of things when you look back, the small stuff is not what’s important.
Things like what car you drive, what parties you go to, what cool tech gear you have, and whether you own the newest version of whatever cutting edge electronic device comes out—they all don’t matter.
None of that will go on your tombstone.
Be Bold & Take Risks
Don’t be afraid to be bold and take risks. Do some big things. Most of the greatest things in life require risk. Risk is the potential for harm, but it’s also the potential for great achievement. Love, business, exploration, science—all of the worthwhile things in life require risk!
Will other people say you’re foolish for quitting your job, or dropping out of college, or starting a business, or moving across the world, or taking a chance? Yes. They will.
Train yourself not to worry about what other people think.
People will always think things. They will always try to impose their own agenda on your life. At the end of the day, you are the only person who lives 100% of your life.
If you want to pivot and you know people will complain, don’t worry about it. You have to pivot for you. If you think that’s selfish, think about it in terms of what you’re benefiting other people: If you don’t pivot and you burn out from going a direction you don’t want to go, you’re helping less people. It’s lose-lose if you keep going.
Don’t worry about what other people think. No one is on their death bed wishing they spent more time caring about what other people thought about them. The number one thing they wish is that they lived a life truer to themselves.