The future is mysterious. Because of this elusive, unknown timeline we all face, why shouldn't we spend our time daydreaming of our distant goals and desires? These dreams have a tendency to taunt us in our seemingly boring present life. But it feels so wonderful to visualize ourselves in a better, distant state of absolute satisfaction and fulfillment in all aspects of our future. This visual that we create of a happier, healthier, and stronger self, is what we consider to be our ending goal; our definition of success.
So what is future tripping, and why is it detrimental to our future success and present satisfaction with our lives? According to Healthyplace.com future tripping is a "human condition of peering into the imagined future and anticipating the outcome," but what's wrong with visualizing our "perfect" future career, future lifestyle, and future home, with a wood burning stove and all? Well, before I completely bash visualizing a "better" you, I have to give it credit because it gives you a motivator. The issue is that people, including myself, get so caught up in what we want rather than what we need to do to achieve this version of ourselves and our life.
If we were to only focus on our ending goal, we are creating an existence of madness, and impatience. We need to begin making smaller goals and smaller effort in an effort to become better. A peer of mine said something the other day that struck home. In my own words, he said, "You can only be better than the person you were yesterday." What a simple, achievable goal to work on daily. It sets the bar low, making it easier to feel satisfied as you lie in bed at night and think, "What did I do today that made me a better me than yesterday?" In making these small, easily achievable goals daily, you are working towards this future "self" you wish to become. In other words, you must walk before you can run.
The sooner we begin rewiring our consciousness to confront our current life, self, and mini goals, the more attainable and realistic our far-off goals will become. Each day must be lived, that is a fact. If we are always thinking about tomorrow, or a year from now, or decades from now, we are wasting the precious opportunities of living, exploring, and growing that today offers. If we continue to romanticize and future trip, our levels of current satisfaction will begin to plateau.
I'd like to add and reiterate, that it is good to plan, and that it is good to have an overarching goal to work towards. College presents a perfect environment for structuring your goals (career/life path), and giving you daily errands (homework) that slowly, but surely, take you closer to your desired outcome.
So I hope that in reading this, you will start to catch yourself from future tripping in those moments of current disappointment and make a goal to make tomorrow better.