I’m pretty sure this won’t come as a total surprise to anyone when I say I often have days where I reflect on my past. We all do it from time time. It’s perfectly normal unless you’re stuck in the past and can’t find you’re way out.
Not I. I don’t like the neighborhood all that much anyway. I just kind of visit it a time or two, rarely overstaying my welcome like those out of town relatives who drop by for a month.
It happens. You know what I’m sayin’.
Anyway, as is with any of my self-absorbed reflections, I usually highlight some of those less than stellar moments in my life I’ve learned to regret now. Still, I personally feel I’ve done pretty well by my standards, and I’ve learned not to hold on to the regrets too long. They’re not all that many, although some of them are real doozies.
But then, even Frank Sinatra had a few, so there is that.
I’m talking about those — woulda, coulda, shoulda — moments of bygone days. Those moments of my past I’m pretty d*mned sure that have impacted how my future turned out.
I’ll admit, I have made changes, but none of them came about with any preplanning on my part; they all kind of crept up on me.
Lately, I’ve learned to become patient with myself and others and more mindful of my own current state. I’ve learned to accept the way things are, the way I am.
I’ve taught myself to reign in my thoughts. I’ve learned to focus on the now, instead of allowing them to scatter all over the place.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve spent a lot of time struggling to be here; to get to this very moment, sitting in front of my computer. I’ve spent years going this way and that, with no real purpose in life, other than what was expected of me by the societal norm.
And now, I’m finally at the first stage of where I truly want to be.
Technology notwithstanding, I never imagined the day when I would be sitting here talking to you folks about changing your future. H*ll I would have never thought the idea of such a thing would have ever crossed my mind.
And yet, here I am.
Don’t think of this as — a do as I say, not as I do — session. I’m talking about years of experiencing my future based on the actions and decisions of my past. Plus one big old aha moment.
I think it’s called growing up.
I was never really good at that.
But I am getting better at it. So much so that I now realize as I inspect my past life, I could have changed my future by making better, more informed, and less impulsive decisions.
I could have curated (sorry the word choice fits) my future self long ago, had I really known what I needed to make me content and fulfilled, had I know what I wanted now way back then.
Yeah, I know the old hindsight being 20/20 thing. And I know the saying about change being constant, and yes to a large degree, I echo the sentiment.
But with a small caveat.
I think not only should change be considered constant, but most of our change should also be preordained by our actions today for a desired outcome in the future.
Wow, like heavy, dude. If that isn’t crossing the bridge before you get to it, I don’t know what is.
So what’s wrong with crossing that bridge before you get to it? What’s wrong with planning your future?
Probably nothing, except for the fact most experts will agree, no one knows what will happen in the future. No one can predict what the future holds.
Call me crazy. Okay, don’t call me crazy. That’s just mean, but we all can shape our future to some degree by making changes today.
If we’ve always wanted to paint beautiful works of art, then we better start taking classes and slapping oil on canvas now.
If we want to become a best-selling author, then we need to take as many creative writing classes as we possibly can now and start writing.
I could throw out hundreds of examples here. How much time do you have? Oh, okay. I’ll save them for later.
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that if you want to change your future, you can’t wait until your future has turned into now and is staring you right in the face.
By then, it’s far, far too late.
To change your future, you need to pick another date and start all over.
You see how that works right? Or did I just dump a bunch of spaghetti noodles on the table and ask you to find the one without starch in it.
I’ll rinse them in a colander next time.
For now, something you need to understand is that each of us has been granted by the powers that be, a specific, finite length of the future left, and none of us really know how long that future is.
It’s kind of like a crossword puzzle with no answers on page fifteen of the magazine.
Some of us (like me) have certainly used up a lot of it, and are only now attempting to change what little we have remaining. We’re trying like h*ll to make changes for a future we’ve only just now figured out we really wanted in the first place.
Warning — Cliche about to happen.
The long and the short of it is folks don’t wait.
If you want to change your future, if you really want to be or do something spectacular with your life, then start making changes in your life today. Baby steps or steps the length of a soccer pitch (or an American football field), it doesn’t matter. Start right now.
I’m one hundred percent positive that your future depends on it.
Let’s keep in touch: email@example.com
© P.G. Barnett, 2020. All Rights Reserved.