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“Help! I Can’t See The Future!”

Question on Quora:

Why can’t I see myself anywhere in the future? I feel lost and everything is so blurry.

My answer:

You can’t see yourself there because you’re not there yet.

Believe me, I’m nearly 49 years old, and I now laugh at the idea of five-year plans. Life never goes so smoothly that anyone can write out a five-year plan and, five years later, see their life going exactly as they wrote it out five years ago.

Instead, I like to have a general idea of how to improve my life, and create goals around that idea. It’s a flexible, low-stress kind of planning.

The lost feeling could come from one of four places: there are so many choices, they paralyze you; you’re depressed; you don’t know yourself well; you’re living in the past and future instead of the present.

If it’s depression, please click here to read my blog post about it.

If it’s the choice issue, decide on just a handful of choices that really matter to you and ignore the rest.

If it’s not knowing yourself well, sit down and write out your interests, favorite non-fiction book titles, things that make you joyful, things that make you angry. Then, take an online enneagram test. You’ll know yourself a lot better after all that, and you’ll feel less lost and more capable of deciding where to go from here.

If you’re not living in the present, well, start to do so. Discipline yourself to look around you each moment and notice the blessings you have, as well as the opportunities that present themselves to you, things you can do to make the world a better place (even if just your home or neighborhood).

Taking one small positive step in the present eventually leads to a good future. Without you having to stare at it in the face every day and worry over what it’s going to look like.

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