Looking too far ahead can be wasteful

Every day I wake up and look over the handwritten “to do” list I make for myself the night before because I only half trust technology to remind me and I definitely do not trust myself to remember. I begin the day with the mindset when I finish these things, I’ll be OK.

Sometimes I see something that I decide I need and make it my goal to acquire it, such as earmuffs. Until I get to the store, swipe my credit card and press “complete order,” I find myself consumed by “not having.’’

I like my hair to be a little longer than my shoulders but as soon as it grows to the length I like it, I cut it off because I decide I liked it better shorter. Until my hair is longer or shorter, I feel as though I do not look good. I need to have a goal, something to work for.

I play a game with myself and it’s called: “I will be happy when…” If I constantly look forward then there will be no capacity when I am older to enjoy what I have because I never developed it; I would never actually experience the things that I worked so hard for.

We know having more money, looking differently or owning one more item will not actually change our state of being. We don’t notice this is what we’re doing at first because it doesn’t sound like it in our minds.

It feels more like recreating ideas of yourself rather than actually just being, like constantly seeking more because of dissatisfaction and chalking it up to being driven and hardworking. It feels like the inability to differentiate “settling” with “contentment.” Before we know it, we live entire lives in a state of trying, working and not having.

How do I know? Our insecurities are the foundation on which capitalism runs. Since the frequency and craziness with which we consume and demand that others change and continue to try to predict the future—we lose our minds until we arrive at some irrational notion that we call certainty screams “I will be happy when.”

Living in the moment, to us, means forgetting about the future. There is no superhero cape with which we can deflect ridicules and failures. We have to feel them; we have to live.

If you are keeping yourself in the reality of “I will be happy when things are different,” you will always need things to be different. It doesn’t matter what changes. You have to change.

Stop eating lunch at your desk. Take a day-long road trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Get lost somewhere. Disconnect from your screens that show you selected projections of the world. Go for a walk without music. Step on the grass barefoot. Be mindful of what you eat. Buy yourself nice flowers. Go outside.

The thing you’ll learn is that living in your uncertainty, insecurity, honesty, vulnerability and failure is what will make you happy. You are no longer fighting, you’re accepting. Youu’re laughing at the fact that the things you were running from became the places you arrived at, no matter where you thought you were headed.