The trap of past and future.
Chances are, if you can afford an internet connection and are reading this answer right now, you will have food on the table tonight. But that isn’t everything you ever wanted. Most of you are in the pursuit, trying to chase things you wish you had in life.
Now pick your phone up, and call your grandfather.
Speak to him about the trials you are going through. If your wise old man is anything like mine, he will tell you how easy you have it. You don’t have to pop in pills every hour just so you don’t have a cardiac arrest while you are dreaming, you don’t have to worry about eating too much and most importantly, you will most likely wake up tomorrow.
But do you really have it that easy? Of course not! Grandpa doesn’t know a thing about your failed grades, your ugly breakup, your unemployment or your strained relationship with your mother.
But the more important question is, did Grandpa really have it as easy as he thinks he had it when he was in his 20s? That’s a flat no too. Chances are, grandpa went through almost the same trials and tribulations when he was your age. But heck, he doesn’t remember any of it. Or if he does, he doesn’t think that it was anything that really bothered him much. It can’t anyways be worse than wetting your bed as he so often does now.
It’s not his fault. The fault is in the widely believed idea of the past. Past is a glaring concept that shines brighter now than it did when it was the present.When you look back at your past, you mostly see the good parts of it. Because your brain is hardwired to erase the anxieties and the fears that once haunted you.
So a lot of people fall into this “trap” of past. When they go nostalgic, they would give anything from the present to trade it for the past. They do not know that the turmoil that they find themselves in today, will most likely be a pleasant memory tomorrow too. They keep leaving in the by-gone days. They are so entrenched in their “glorious” past (which wasn’t all that glorious to begin with) that they forget to live the present.
The next trap is that of the future. Most of us are currently trapped in this, but we don’t even know. If your thought processes remind you more of this:
• If I happen to get that coveted job, I can finally happy.
• If she happens to be my girlfriend one day, I can finally be happy.
• If I pass the exams, I can finally be happy.
• If I tan my skin, or get a little whiter, I can finally be happy.
• If I shed my fats, I can finally be happy.
And less of this:
• I am lucky to have people around me who care for me.
• I love to spend so much time with my family.
• I so love my work.
• I love this food made with so much love.
Then chances are that, you are spiraling further down this futurehole and you need to claw your way back before the clock runs out on you.
We all need to understand this one thing, that happiness does not lie in the past or the future. It lies in the present. You might have read the quote:
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”
Work extremely hard for your future, relish the memories of the past, but do not forget that your today is the most important thing you have. If you live it with a frown on your face, you are wasting the most precious resource you have – life. Whether you are homeless or a billionaire, the struggle exists for everybody. But you have to find your happiness in this chaos.