Some people plan for the future. They write out lists of goals and they’re always organising their time so they can continue moving forward and making progress on those goals. It’s a good way to live. It’s great to have some focus on the future and have some grand horizons you’re working towards. But it could never work for me.
I’m not the type to plan my life out to the nth degree. I’m not the type to set myself some grand vision. I’m not the type to schedule every step, so I know I’m always going to be making steps to achieve my grand, long-term goals. For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived my life one day at a time. That’s the only way I can manage it.
It wasn’t always like that. When I was little, I had lots of grand plans. But as the years passed, I got to learn a few hard lessons. Not to sound too much like a sob merchant, but I had my fair share of disappointments. And many of them hurt. I can still feel the pain of some of those knockbacks, even though they occurred far back in the past.
The lesson I learnt was not to think too far ahead. Don’t construct some sort of mad rosy vision of the future – the only thing you’ll do is disappoint yourself. Better to focus on what is immediately in front of you and how you’re going to negotiate it.
I know it may sound defeatist. I know it may sound negative. But I’ve found it’s the only way I can organise my life. Think too far ahead and I can dig myself into a great big hole. Focus on the day before me and I can generally find my way to the end. With some of the issues I’ve faced over the last couple of years, with both work and health issues, this approach has definitely helped keep me moving forward.
I can hear the sort of criticism I might get for this revelation. By keeping my horizons so limited, aren’t I missing out on potential opportunities? By trying not to look too far forward, aren’t I imposing restrictions on my life?
I suppose those criticisms are valid. My best response would be to say that even without such large-scale planning, I’ve managed to achieve a lot. I’ve travelled and lived overseas. I’ve established a wonderful family. And I’ve written and published a range of books of different types. Not too bad a list if you ask me. And I reckon my one-day-at-a-time approach has helped me with all of these achievements. I reckon if I’d tried to forge a fancy future for myself, I would have ended up floundering and wouldn’t have achieved half of the things I have.So that’s my post for the day. One day at a time is the way I live my life. It’s worked for me so far, and I see no reason to change.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as