Is it appropriate to say and mean, “The future is now?” Aren’t we suppose to plan for the future, but not live in it?
As a person who is in his second half-century of life, I have spent a lot of time planning for the future. During my formal education, I was constantly reminded that one of the main purposes of education was to help me be successful in the future. Therefore, when decisions were made, either by or for me, often they were made while thinking about how each decision would affect my future.
Not only did thinking about the future play a big role in my educational decisions, but I also placed the future in the forefront when choosing a profession, buying houses and cars, selecting insurances, and determining diets. These are only a few of many examples where thinking about the future played a big role in my decision making.
Ok, so planning for the future while making decisions in the present has been important for me. But, what about this statement, “The future is now?” I have heard many times that always living in the future isn’t living at all. It isn’t living at all because it means we are always preparing to live and therefore, are failing to live. Ouch!
I guess living in the future is much like living in the past. I have friends who constantly talk about the good old days and often say nothing about their plans for the future or what they are doing in the present. Is that living? But, I digress! This is about deciding if it is ever appropriate to have “the future (is) now” and not “the past (is) now.”
I have often used the saying, learn from the past, live in the present and plan to make the future better. It is important for all of us to be able to move in a positive manner between hindsight, foresight and the present. Having stated that we, of course, can only live in the present. But, as we live in the present, where are our minds living? My friends who constantly talk about the good old days seem to be mentally living in the past.
I once worked with a man who almost everyday, during lunch, would talk about his plans for when and how to retire. He usually referred to the present as hell on earth, while his future retirement was going to be pure heaven. In fact, he would usually tell me exactly how many years, months and days until he would retire and be in this pure heaven. He always seemed to be living in the future. He has retired and I haven’t had any contact with him for more than seven years. I wonder if his present is pure heaven or is the pure heaven still in the future.
It’s this aspect of dealing with the future that brings us back to the initial question of, “Is it (ever) appropriate to have ‘the future now’?” I think YES, it is appropriate when what you planned for becomes reality. Consider the example of the person who planned for retirement and envisioned it to be pure heaven. When he retired, he should have considered the future is now and lived as though he was in pure heaven. I’m using this only as an example; I don’t know what his attitude is/was since he retired.
There is much to be gained by viewing the present through the lense of the past and envisioning the future the way we want it to be. But, when we see the present as we envisioned the future, then the future is now!
I am envisioning a comment from you. Let’s have the future comment now! :-)