Total Pageviews

Friday, January 8, 2016

On focusing on the future

"Just as the same chain fastens the prisoner and the soldier who guards him, so hope and fear, dissimilar as they are, keep step together; fear follows hope. 8 I am not surprised that they
proceed in this way; each alike belongs to a mind that is in suspense, a mind that is fretted by looking forward to the future. But the chief cause of both these ills is that we do not adapt ourselves to the present, but send our thoughts a long way ahead. And so foresight, the noblest blessing of the human race, becomes perverted. 9 Beasts avoid the dangers which they see, and when they have escaped them are free from care; but we men torment ourselves over that which is to come as well as over that which is past. Many of our blessings bring bane to us; for memory recalls the tortures of fear, while foresight anticipates them. The present alone can make no man wretched. "  Seneca - Moral Letters to Lucilius, Book 1, V. ON THE PHILOSOPHER'S MEAN

This reading had a number of great points reminding us to Live According to Nature, that wealth doesn't make us less or more of a philosopher, etc.  As I was reading I was struck once again that we are reminded to live in the moment.  To not spend so much time dwelling on the past or dreaming about the future that we are of no use in the present.  To truly be present in our lives without regret from the past or worry about the future allows us to be fruitful in the now.

It doesn't matter if I have the perfect plan set up for my future in the absolute best dwelling, etc. if I am not consciously living in the present life that I have.  Maybe it is because I am living through the empty nest syndrome and I am in my 50th year that I find myself dwelling on "what now?" and "what about retirement?".  I know that it is prudent to have a plan for the future with resources to fall back on but, if that planning becomes the main thing in my mind and the present is slipping away without notice, there is a lack of balance.  The prudent thing is to set in motion plans and resources for the future without the future being the moments that we are living for.  We need to take a step back and remember to live each moment that we are in now.  We need to enable ourselves to bloom where we are planted at this moment.