Various forms of metrics and data surround us in the digital age to provide us the illusion that we can measure our success with numbers. Anxiety levels are at an all time high and our self-doubts are consistently piling on. But the cold hard truth is that our success can’t be told through numbers. These metrics surrounding us and “tied to us” can’t tell the story of who we are. The drive to push the data and metrics further while compared to other people has led to an emphasis of importance on a future state of being and the corresponding happiness tied to it. To some, the value of a future period has become to be worth significantly more than the current state.
You’ve probably heard some form of this statement before: “I am going to be so happy once XYZ happens.” You yourself might have even said statements like these. I know I am completely guilty on countless occasions. It’s a common practice to place so much emphasis on achieving our goals that the thought of being our happiness currently becomes an unfeasible feat. How crazy is that concept that we’ve trained ourselves to believe??
Exhaustion over this vicious cycle will eventually overtake the ability to continue and cloud the mind with uncertainty. The present will never seem enough because we are no longer working for the present. We are solely putting effort to run after the future. The chase for a future state of happiness will burn us out. How do I know? Because I’ve been there endless times.
I’ve always been someone who has at least one more goal on the horizon before checking off my current one(s). I thought my satisfaction with myself and life in general was tied to accomplishing all the future goals. I developed a numbness towards my current achievements. Whatever I accomplish in the present is masked with the thought of the next goal to conquer. What possibly can be better can achieving better and bigger dreams, right? WRONG.
By not appreciating my current state of being, I am slowly losing potential in the long run. When the future arrives and the goals get satisfied, what is left? More goals in the future. Instead of learning how to live in the present and being appreciate of the work in progress, the mind has fixated itself to a state that never really stabilizes because the future isn’t always a set point in time. In fact, the future is everlasting. The future cannot be defined definitively.
Most commonly, people are staring into the future thinking that their happiness is tied to a X salary, X grade, X number of followers, X subscribers, X number of friends, X weight, etc. The pattern is in all of our lives, whether we want to come to terms with it or not. And even if we do, it’s the drive to want to live in the present that can help us push out the negative thoughts tied to our future success. These variables can’t determine our worth, our success or our value in any way or shape. Metrics are always backed up by some average, right? Who’s to say measuring ourselves up against those averages can determine something…or anything at all? And besides, I think averages are complete BS – sample sizes rarely completely and unbiasedly represent the population. Yet through some social construct, they are able to engulf our minds into thinking we have to fit into a society set “norm”. Since averages = social norm, right? Let’s first realize that this is COMPLETELY false.
We’ve all heard it before: the idea that we need to be more in the present. But how many of us actually practice what we preach? I know I struggle with this constantly. But I think the key is to wean ourselves off the various measures of success surrounding us. Stop thinking of the numbers we see daily, stop wishing for tomorrow, stop needing a new goal just for the sake of it. Living in the present means appreciating the process.
But the thoughts of future can still come creeping in. The thought that reaching some other numbers/metrics can lead to greater success will still linger. And we don’t have to completely shut it all out. Life is about balance, right? So is our way of thinking. Balance out how you can enjoy the journey of it all while also appreciating the fact that you can change in the future. Don’t refer to the future as a better place to be compared to the present. Rather, think of the present as your chance of uncovering all the good that you can bring into the future. Your present state has the ability to make the future better, rather than always vice versa. Remember that the future will one day become your present.
Refrain from focusing so much on the metrics around you. You will meet shallow people who will tell you that your worth is dependent on your salary, following, weight, etc. But you know better than that – you know that success cannot be measured one-dimensionally. Everyone is worth more than some number. It’s no easy feat to enjoy every step of the journey; but it’s a feat we have to take on nonetheless to reap in more benefits in the long run. Let this post be a reminder to love your current state of being and to stop wishing the future is here. The present can be just as good, if not better, than an unknown future.
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A million and one thanks for reading – until my next lil’ thought then!