Good things come to those who wait. At least, that’s the great teaching of false hope that’s given to you every time you’re forced to choose between an option that will give you instant gratification and an option that won’t. Sometimes the wait pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t – that’s just the great reality. Depending on what you want for your life, you might spend most of your life waiting for a possible few months of happiness in the end. So that begs the question: Is it worth it? Are a few months of peace and joy worth a few years of pain and negative reinforcement? People often succumb to a fallacy that is rooted to the idea that their lives lead up to something – that there is an endgame they have to wait and see. This perspective basically means that instead of living in the moment, you focus on the future and the future only, which means that you never focus on what’s happening at the very present. “Oh, in 40 years I’ll be wealthy and retired.” Let’s say that comes from someone who has chosen a path very many people choose. Let’s assume that this person doesn’t go above and beyond to expound on opportunities. He wakes up, goes to work, pays his bills, and goes home. That’s his static life. And there’s nothing wrong with that, if it makes him happy! But the point here is carefully illustrated to reflect a specific mindset – that your expectations will fulfill themselves in time. I emphasized in time because I hear a lot of people say “Oh, in time I’ll find the one.” “Well, I’ll find the right job in time.” That will never be true if you always assume that there is something better waiting for you, instead of appreciating the possibility that what you have is the best you ever will.
I’ve chosen a path in my life that leads me down many different roads that unfortunately will involve long periods of waiting – waiting for that climactic point where I start to achieve what I’ve always wanted to achieve. But what I realize is that without proper focus of what’s happening right now, I will never achieve anything because I would be so heavily focused on “the big picture” that the little picture doesn’t receive the same care. For example, one of my goals is to break into the film industry. I knew that college would be an appropriate route for this, and so I got a job at Starbucks which would provide close-to-free college. By planning ahead, I not only focused on the endgame, so to speak, but I also made the best of what I had now. This means that I’m not just using Starbucks for free college, because I haven’t even started that yet. It means that I’m making the most of the job I now have, going above and beyond and creating memories because this is what I have. It’s not a gamble or assumption on where I want to be in life. It’s not me saying “Hey, maybe I can have a lot of money when I get this track signed.” There’s a reason that people have jobs on top of their chosen paths in life. One of my Starbucks partners owns his own record label, but he’s been working here for over ten years. Why? He not only knows that this job is a reliable source of income, but he’s content with where he’s at now because it’s a place he’s worked towards for many years. He doesn’t say “In ten years I’ll be in LA making millions,” because he knows he isn’t working for that. Is it a possibility? Sure, anything is possible. But he knows what he wants, and focuses on that instead of relying on the off-chance that he gets a big break.
Using my own life choices to illustrate these same principles, I spend every day focusing on two disparate but intertwined things: the present, and the future. More specifically, I focus not only on the present day’s tasks, but also on tomorrow’s tasks. For example, on the 15th of February, we replaced all the signs/banners in our store to advertise the new seasonal drinks. This was a special task that I was voluntarily admitted to; not only would it give me a new experience at work, but it would also show my supervisors that I actively want to be part of the franchise’s ever-growing success. This was a move I made regarding the things happening now in the present. But on the same day, after work, I focused on the future by applying for UCF – a college I applied to a year earlier. I already have college lined up for this year, but I want next year to bear different fruit. And while this is not a topic to expand on today, what I intend to demonstrate is that I’m thinking ahead while also putting just as much thought into the present. Too many times, people think far too into the future that they forget just how important the present moment is. They don’t realize that there is no future without the changes you make now. You can’t win a chess match if you never make the first move. Expanding on this metaphor, you can think twenty moves ahead; but without the one move you have to make next, those next nineteen moves could prove to be futile.
Your first move could be the best move you’ll ever make. You may not plan for that to be the case. But nonetheless you at least acknowledge it could be so. I like to think of that as a motive for making the most of what you have. I go above and beyond at my current job because I recognize that even while I have bigger plans for myself that I’m actively working towards fulfilling, this could be the best I will ever have, and thus I strive to make it the best experience I can. This doesn’t mean that I set my standards below average, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I have no hopes and dreams. What it means is that on my way up in the world, there are a lot of other memories to be made. I would rather create those memories and spend some time focusing on those smaller things than allow the bigger picture to take full influence over all my decisions. It’s why I haven’t stressed myself out about having not made many significant moves yet. I’m actively working towards that – almost every day in fact – but I balance my life tomorrow with the life ahead of me today in such a way where both are dynamically connected.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve made one triumph, two triumphs, or ten triumphs in your life. The moment you try to climb the mountain too fast is the moment you are most vulnerable to fall. I realize the title of this blog was slightly misleading. You thought I had some big achievements to share with you. What if I simply told you that I had a good day at work today, and I felt better about myself at the end of it? While big accomplishments are great, if life revolved around that, then we would hardly be living. At the end of the day, what matters most is whether or not you can look back and say that you made good choices, you were productive, and you did what made you happy. I would rather take that over the satisfaction I would otherwise lack by pretending that the present moment is irrelevant.
I love you, but your attitude is like that of a shrew. Your options? Take a pill or be my kill. Might I suggest that you wear a vest. Perish in class or be banished to the land of bluegrass, where dreams don't exist as you'll be eternally pissed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jeff, Marson, Xedron
Hi everyone, the name's SourSpitballs.
I used to be really active in this community on a different account, but I got banned due to my 10-11 year old self being so stupid to ignore the staff's warnings.