Some scholars and philosophers suggest that paying too much attention to the future is what causes most of the stress and anxiety in humans. There are entire schools of thought that preach we must be “present”-focused to have a high quality of life. While I do agree that anxiety is giving too much importance on future events and that we should all be grateful for what we have and can enjoy in the present, I strongly disagree with these schools that say we must be focused solely on the present. I believe the lack of a compelling future is what causes most people anxiety and stress. In other words, worry comes from a lack of hope and not paying enough attention to the future. From my experience and the experience of many of my successful, happy friends and mentors, the biggest commonality between them is that they are constantly focused on the future. They are designing their life and taking massive action so that their future is brighter and more compelling than today.
This is not to say these fulfilled people are not grateful for what they currently have, they are. These people enjoy every moment of life. I know some people so enthusiastic and so animated that you can feel their energy permeating the space around them. These people are able to suck the marrow out of life because they are enjoying the present, but are always mindful and preparing for the future. This type of preparation takes an incredible amount of discipline. However, that discipline allows them to use the stress of the future to design and build an incredible life. Throughout history, those who have been incredible successful in any area of life—marriage, business, health, money—they all have understood the power of anticipation. If you are pulled towards future, mindful of what may be in store, you can prepare yourself and your loved ones.
Being future focused is like laying the concrete foundation for a building. Preparations must be made for the future building so that it can last. The engineers and builders are taking massive actions so that their creation will last throughout the years. Let me suggest to you this is like your life. You are the engineer and the builder. Prepare for the future; design a future life that is so compelling, you can’t help but smile. Then, take MORE action than necessary to ensure that what you design will come to fruition. Yes, be mindful and grateful towards the present, but be future-focused. After all, the present will be the past in a moment. Being focused on the future will give you the ultimate fulfillment.