I know, that’s not the movie title, but what we want to do is bring the future and our thoughts of it a little bit more into here, our present experience.
What do I mean by that? Well, recently in a podcast conversation I had with Sara Westbrook, who’s a fantastic motivational speaker, author, and songwriter, we got talking about the idea of getting there versus being here.
So, leaning toward there. What do I mean by that? Well, most of us I think, certainly this is true for me, we have goals or thoughts or ideas of things that we want to experience or have or do or be that are somewhere in the future. We’re aspiring to get to that. It’s out there.
And we think that if I could just get there, then what? Life will be easier, I’ll be healthier, I’ll be happier. And that might even be true. The trouble with that is that we’re projecting our expectation onto a future that doesn’t exist yet.
So how do we translate that? Well, here’s something that Sara brought up that I think is really interesting. Think of it in these terms. If it’s important enough to you, you’re going to get there. One way or the other, there is going to catch up with you.
If it’s important enough to you, you’re going to get ‘there.’ One way or the other, ‘there’ is going to catch up with you.
Want proof? Think of it this way: Where you are right now, here, you have collected a whole bunch of “theres.” You’re there. I’ll prove it to you. We can boil this down to the ridiculous if you want. We’ll look back into the past for just a couple of moments.
So, for instance, there was a point in your life where you couldn’t walk or talk. Now, you probably can’t remember that. I can’t, but at some point in your life, you wanted to get there. That was your there. You learned how to do that.
Okay, so that’s a little ridiculous? Fine. I can still well remember wanting to learn how to drive a car, wanting to have my first kiss, and once I had the ability to drive the car, I wanted to own one, and I wanted to live in a place of my own and I wanted to able to choose my own clothes, eat the foods that I wanted to eat. There, there, there, there. Those were all things that were out there that I can remember very clearly feeling very far away.
I wanted to finish school and get out into the “real world” and have a job. I thought, “If I could just get that, life would be easier. I can make my own rules.”
Is any of this resonating with you? Those were all “theres.”
You’re going to catch up to it sooner or later, so the point is, how can you let it contribute to ‘here?’
Well, I’m here now. I’ve done all of that stuff! And everything else (and I’m not talking about having tons of money or finding a dream job or having a great car or a house or any of that sort of stuff, but all of these things that we’re reaching into the future, maybe it is money, maybe it is a car or a job or losing weight or gaining weight or sharpening a skill or learning something new), it’s out there for you. Well, you’re going to catch up to it sooner or later, so the point is, how can you let it contribute to here?
This is a mistake that I was making for a lot of years. I had quite a lot of changes in my personal life back around 2010 that I’ll talk about maybe in a future video, but at that time, all of the labels that I had attached to myself, husband, homeowner, business owner and partner, they all just evaporated within the course of a couple of weeks and I went to where I had pretty much next to nothing. And what ended up happening in the couple of years after that is that I was happier and more fulfilled and more content and present in every moment than I had ever been in my life. And I was confused for a while about how to maintain that while still setting goals and moving toward them because I didn’t want to get back to where I was driving myself so hard to get there that I pulled myself away from my enjoyment of the present moment.
Well, I started out on that anyway, and I was getting it wrong for a good amount of time up until actually fairly recently. It was earlier in the year. I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed with a lot of things that were going on. I had started my podcast, I was MC’ing a lot of events, I was trying to create demos for songs that I was putting up, I was putting blogs online, having all sorts of fun experiences with my two boys, and I was in a stretch around about March of this year where I just started to get colds, get the flu, just started breaking down, and I remember it was around Easter weekend and I thought to myself, “I have to stop. I’ve gotta stop.”
I put myself on an activity embargo for about a week where I said, “The only thing I’m allowed to do is go and do my job during the day, be with my boys, and then my household chores.” Everything else other than going to the gym was out. No blogging, no songwriting, no podcasting, no MC’ing of events, none of that.
A funny thing happened. When I pulled myself back into here, because I realized that I was racing ahead of myself a little bit, I realized, well, if you’re hinging your enjoyment of the experience that you’re having right now, what’s real. We’re here right now and tomorrow’s not promised to us. None of us know that we’re going to get that, but if we’re hinging our happiness and our health and our sense of fulfillment on getting there, into the future that doesn’t exist yet, what’s the point? We’re here right now. So if I can’t figure out a way to make my investment into that future a part of my enjoyment of the present, then I’m not going do it.
Switch it in your mind so that your process of getting ‘there’ becomes part of your ‘here,’ because ‘there’ is going to be ‘here’ at some point.
Since I made that really subtle change, everything started to shift for me. I’ve never been healthier. I’ve never felt better. I’ve never got more done. But whenever I’m looking to prioritize my day and think about how I want my time to be spent, I’m thinking about, “Is this adding to my present experience or is it taking me away and into projecting into a future that isn’t here yet and may never be?”
I might not get to tomorrow, but I’m here right now, so I may as well enjoy it. Because here’s the thing about all these “theres” that have become here that you’re looking to get to, get to another here and look back and go, “Wow, look what I did:” There’s always another mountain. Use whatever metaphor you want, but when you’re constantly evolving, there’s always going to be another thing. Don’t be exhausted by that; embrace it. That’s the fun part.
They say it’s a journey. It’s cliche for a reason.
So there versus here. Here is real. Switch it in your mind so that your process of getting there becomes part of your here, because there is going to be here at some point.
Confused? I think I’ve just put a disruption in the space time continuum. Go listen to that part of the podcast with Sara Westbrook. I think you’ll really enjoy everything that she has to say.