Twenty years ago, if you would have suggested I’d be an RVing enthusiast in my future, I’d have laughed at you. I was such a different person back then; raising my kids, growing my career…I couldn’t imagine my life any differently.
And RVing? I’d never given it even a passing thought, nor did I have any interest in the topic. Now, I am able to look back and see how much I have changed.
A different person, although not entirely. After all, it was the past me who helped define the present me.
If we were to take a mental RV trip and visit our future selves, I imagine our future selves would have some questions for us:
“Are you taking care of me?”
Ignoring the needs of our future self is pretty easy to do. We dump life’s challenges we’d rather not deal with now on the mythical future self who will somehow have more willpower, more determination, more wisdom, more everything we’re not right now. “Sure, I’ve got 20 lbs to lose, but boy, eating that entire pie and watching TV all day makes me happy. I’ll eat better and exercise tomorrow.” We’d all love to live in a hedonistic present, where we suffer no consequences for our indulgent choices. However, imagine how unhappy and unhealthy a life that would be for our future self. Think of it this way. Imagine your future self is one of your kids. You have all the power on how well your kid turns out in the future. So, if you eat that entire pie and sit on your butt each day, your kid will face the future health consequences from your choices. Would you still eat it and still sit around if your bad choices affected your kid’s health? I doubt it. So, why then, would we treat our future selves in such a way?
“Are you settling?”
We so easily accept mediocrity in life, why is that? We settle for the status-quo and simply accept that our dreams are unachievable, and get stuck there. Add in an innate fear of failure and fear of change, and voila. A recipe for mediocrity. But you are braver than you know. If you feel like life shouldn’t be this way, take action! Our time is so precious here, and our future self has so much potential, but it is YOU who gets to choose that for your future self. YOU are the button pusher. YOU set the stage for the future with your actions right here in the present.
“Are you enjoying the journey?”
Decades ago, I decided to re-tile my fireplace. A retired friend helped me work out the logistics of the project, and I got to work. When he later checked in on me, I whined, “I’ll be so happy to have this nightmare done.” His response stuck with me all through my life. “You have to find a way to enjoy the process. Don’t fixate on the end. Find joy right here, along the way.” I’ve tried to let that theme, “enjoying the process,” guide me through my life since then. Finding enjoyment in life is up to each of us. Life is simply way too short for boredom, discontentedness, and unhappiness. If you aren’t enjoying your journey, it is never, ever too late to change your course.
So, here we are, back from our mental RV trip. You had a vision of your future self. Now you can turn that vision into reality. After all, your future self is waiting.