Look for the Future

Each Step Matters

How does one see the future?

Well, one step at a time.

Each one of your projects you successfully gets out the door leads you to be a little wiser, a little better, and slightly more interesting.

Feels odd when things fall apart, just remember next time it’ll be way faster to put it back together.

 

Self-Discipline and Self-Awareness

My inner voice is screaming.

This morning, I wanted to avoid this blog.

A sense of rebellion, a chance to run away from myself to spite me.

In a way, it functions as a reminder of how your internal dialogue is irrational.

It isn’t necessarily wrong.  That alarm exists for a reason. This self-rebellion is the result of something being “off.”

Self-discipline is knowing how to avoid your inner voice to finish things that need doing after that initial alarm. 

Self-awareness is taking that inner-voice seriously enough to sit down and continue the “conversation” after the alarm.

Don’t run from the next step.

 

 

Your Future Self is like Santa Claus

I hate the future guy.

The future me is always doing the right things. He always gets the trash taken out. He always gets to work on time. He always makes the bed in the morning. My future self is always two steps ahead, getting things done without me.

I can never catch up. No one can. Your future self is far too good. He doesn’t falter, he doesn’t fail. Your future self is Santa Claus on steroids, instead of appearing once a year, he appears daily, a sack full of things to make us happy.

My biggest problem with the future self is the same problem I have with Santa Claus. It isn’t what the future self does in the future, it’s what he doesn’t do in the present. He makes a lot of promises for the future that he can’t keep. When the future self is ahead of schedule everything is fine, but once things get present, he is always somewhere else, attempting the next thing. It is nothing but a trap that keeps us where we are. The future self, and its running partner, procrastination, constantly find ways to get into your head.

Look, it always feels good to procrastinate. The future you is always ready to handle it. “You’ll get to it later” is like a panacea for all that ails you. I sit here and type this before a weekend where my future self scheduled to do a lot of things, and once again, I am almost ready to let him handle it.

The only thing that is stopping me is a thought. I think “what has your future self done in the present.” It worked this morning.  I am typing this post now when I generally would be eating takeout (In New York City it’s very easy to order breakfast) kicking my feet up and discussing nothing by text, waiting on the future self to handle it.

The Siren Song of Procrastination

Procrastination is alluring. Just the idea of procrastination is relaxing. There is nothing more pacifying than setting the task into the future.For me, it is a siren song into tomorrows work, keeping me still while I continue being comfortable. For example,I catch the procrastination bug often while sitting and playing a video game. It gives me the opportunity to tell myself that I will take care of a task later. Later can mean many things, although, whether it means next week, tomorrow, or even after this next auto save isn’t of much consequence. The important part is I do not have to do the task now, and I can relax. It is an easy battle to lose.

What makes that battle with procrastination interesting is that it takes different forms. Usually, it is pure procrastination, when the brain decides there isn’t any tricks to play. It just sinks into the procrastination and you get to go on your merry way. Sometimes, however, the brain can get extra tricky. It can purpose tools meant to help us stay on track, such as to-do lists, to aid in the procrastination. I have had a list of to-do items that have made no movement. It is a way for us to confuse action with progress. Marking something as on the to-do list and moving forward is an easy trap to fall for. I can find myself deep in this sometimes,looking at my  past ‘any.do’ experiment is a testament to that. The app is a graveyard, filled with tasks that could have been.

The biggest issue with procrastination is that it relies on a future self. The future self is the trap. It is a trickster meant to keep us comfortable. Procrastination isn’t a passive feeling, it takes constant awareness. It takes an active mind. There are opportunities to make the most of what we have, but it takes us getting through the comfortable and to deal with the now, instead of tomorrow.