“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” -Muhammad Ali
NOW & WHAT’S NEXT?
It is in our nature to always look ahead, to predict, to ask what’s next. This ability is a good thing, but can also lead us into downward spiral of dissatisfaction.
This ties into another article I wrote about how people are always stumbling to find the next “best thing” or “happiness” in their life. People believe that their lives are a start and end process when in reality they aren’t. We are born and then we die, but this is only a small timeline pulled out of the larger timeline of life. We tend to only mark parts of the process. We mark the “beginning” and “end” of our lives within the cycle of life itself (We tend to disregard the process of life in of itself as a whole process. We separate things). From this comes the illusion that everything has a beginning and an end, rather than being a continuous cycle .
The same applies to how we think about our goals. Most people think that goals work in a start and finish fashion. This is part of the illusion.
We dance around in our daily lives always worrying about the next thing we have to do. It is within this thinking that creates the belief that our next move or our next step will satisfy us. Or when our goal is right around the corner, when we reach it THEN and only then will we be satisfied. These are misconceptions. Of course this is just evolution at work, its hard wired in us to be be continually unsatisfied. But it is because we try to be satisfied with an “end result” we may find in the future that continues to make us unhappy. We believe “end results” or “future moments” are what will make us happy, but it is only in the NOW that we can be happy and satisfied.
The now is all we have and all we have control over so that is where we have to start, and ENJOY the process.
BEING“NEXT MINDED” IS AN ISSUE
Have you ever noticed, that even when you are completing a task, your thoughts are focused on what you have to do next? Whether that be to do homework, go to work, figure out what your going to wear, etc, etc? In our heads we are always thinking about the next step. And this is a problem.
Most people are never in the present moment focused on the task at hand. Not only does this impact the quality of work you are putting into your task but also creates a cycle in your mind that the next best thing, is in the next thing you do. This leaves us unsteady and unsatisfied.
With our minds always fixated on the next thing (A Next Minded Person) or a “end result”the thing that most fail to understand is that what they are doing in the now is no different than the “next thing” they are striving towards. This is because what you decide to do in the now shapes your future moments. By focusing on what you are doing in the now, you are able to enjoy the process as well shape your future in correlation with what you achieve.
TIP ON HOW TO NOT BE NEXT MINDED
A great tip that helped me with slowing down my next mindedness was having a to-do list. Now I know you might be thinking “but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of not being next minded?”, no it doesn’t. The thing is you don’t have to think when you have a list. You write it once and its there for reference. It allows you to focus and think less about what you have to do. They are very efficient.
WHAT YOU DECIDE TO DO IN THE NOW SHAPES YOUr“FUTURE”
If you do something productive, that productivity will produce something in alignment with that productivity in the future. If you decide to be lazy, your future will be sculpted by laziness. This applies to anything you do. So take advantage of you time in the now.
Things do not happen at random, there is always a reason. That reason may not always be of your doing, but regardless your concern should be what you are capable of controlling. Don’t play the victim and play the game of, “because ‘X’ happened I am unable to do ‘X'”. That is just an excuse to play the victim of a situation and a reason to make yourself feel special .
GOALS ARE THE PROCESS. NOT THE END GAME
When people talk about goals they are normally referring to a desired “end result” in the future. But what they don’t understand is that moving toward this desired vision in the now is just as important as the vision in our heads. We have to start the process in the now to move toward self fulfillment and at the same time realize that the process itself is the goal. By acting in the now you are accomplishing your goal.
The process is like a series of stairs in a staircase. One stair is still the staircase, without the stairs there is no staircase. They are the one and the same, That’s how we have to look at it.
But people think the first stair and last stair are the most important. The reality is that they are no more important than any other stairs on the staircase. They all represent a step towards self fulfillment, but most see the last stair on the stair case as their “goal” their “end result”, a representation of a superficial gain. Whether that be a new job, a new house, a girlfriend, etc.A goal is the process in of itself. That is what they miss and the reason why they wonder when they achieve their “end result” they feel no different. Its because they have not yet learned to enjoy the process. They separate the destination and journey, when the destination is the journey itself why not enjoy the whole thing?
BE IN THE NOW. DON’T BE CONFUSED. MOVE FORWARD
Here is where shit hits the fan when it comes to “goals” and being in the now. We can do one of two things:
One, we can be obsessed with the thought of their goals, which most people do. Meaning that they are obsessed with only the thought of their goals not the actual steps it takes to “achieve” or fulfill them.
Or two, with this vision in mind start building the stairs to our staircase in the now, understand that each stair we make is both the process and the goal itself and should enjoy it in order to be self fulfilled. What not so many people do.
Those are the two choices we have when acting in the now. The choice is yours. But for those of you who consider yourselves “non bitches” I would highly recommend the second option. Being satisfied and happy comes from the acceptance of knowing you will never be satisfied and the ability to always moving forward in the now. Building each stair to your staircase of self fulfillment.