The journeys of our lives are winding roads, with ups and downs at every corner. We never know how tomorrow is going to treat us, and we’re clueless as to how we’ll feel the day after that. The point is, the future is virtually unpredictable, and worrying about what’s to come often leads to bouts of anxiety. Trust me, I know.
I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about my future. Where will I go to college? What should I major in? Where am I going to go after college? What will I do? Will I have a family? Will I be happy?
The questions and worries could go on for hours, and oftentimes they did.
And no matter how much I tried to think about what the future holds to appease my curiosity, it only seemed to make my anxiety worse. It only made me worry more and more about tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and so on and so forth. The repeating, worrying cycle only made matters worse.
I’ve had to learn to take one day at a time. By focusing on today, instead of tomorrow, I’ve found that I can be more productive and less anxious-ridden. Instead of worrying about my final grade in a class, I focus on my homework assignment today. Instead of wondering where my writing career will take me, I focus on one article at a time. Instead of always looking at the abstract, big-picture aspects of my life, I’ve decided to take baby steps towards achieving my goals. Instead of skipping to the last page of a novel, I’ve decided to take my time and enjoy the entire book. By doing this, I’ve found happiness.
Now I know what you’re thinking — how are we supposed to create our dreams and aspirations if we never look toward the future?
It’s true that we have to look to the future to set goals, but if we always focus on the what’s ahead, how are we supposed to achieve our goals of today? How are we supposed to take the proper precautions to acquire our future aspirations?
We have to take one day at a time.
After learning to take one day at a time, my days have come to feel more productive, worthwhile, and fulfilling. While I sometimes slip back into my habit of worrying about the future, I can mostly control function on a day to day basis.
I encourage you to try taking your life one day at a time, too. Focus on the now, the today, the present. Because if we look too far ahead, we might lose sight of what’s really important.