From time to time I like to write about my life lessons. I also like to appreciate the fact that I have actually learned to apply these lessons from life. Here is an article on my battle with the “One Day” mentality.
Trapped in a future realm that I had no power over, because I forgot about NOW.
Back in my early blogging days, my heart was in the right place about reaching out to people and helping folk with their fitness quest, but my attitude and actions weren’t always inline with having a positive effect and affect on people I communicated with (this was also true of my off-line life btw). My actions were often motivated by a need to fight against some injustice or rant about something that I disagreed with. I wasted a lot of energy preaching to the choir … it doesn’t take much courage to write a blog about something you disagree with, when you know full well most of your readers will agree with you, or defend you against those who disagree.
Honestly, all this approach ever did for me was produce one massive headache! I divided people and caused strife, I was offended when people lashed back at me, I was too proud to admit that some of my words were harsh and I was unwise in many of my replies to people; acting arrogant and defensive. It got to the point that the point of what I originally said no longer mattered … all that did matter was how I was conducting myself. I may have concreted my relationship with some of my readers or friends, but I put a lot of others off me.
Now I am not saying that we should never stand up for what we believe it, in fact I think we should, but what I used to do was stand against what I didn’t believe in, and there’s a difference! I also am not saying that we try to please everyone, this is impossible – what I am saying is that acting only to win popularity or get a reaction is not going to gain people’s trust or their attention long-term. You must act and be fully prepared to be proven wrong; not act as if you are always right – In other words, be humble, not arrogant. Be open-minded, willing AND able to listen, and slow to anger. This has been a great learning curve for me and, if you have the time to read on, I wish to explain it further. Many of you will already know what I have just learned, but I am so happy I now know this, that I am excited to share it!
As many of you will also understand, knowing it is one thing; living it is another – it takes practice! But I digress …
Seeing injustice or seeing “crafty”, selfish people succeed above others used to make me so angry inside. You know the type of person I am referring to … and it was not just people in the fitness world; this related to my personal relationships (maybe a friend, a family member, an ex boyfriend), matters on the news, work colleagues … you know, those people who seem to have a smooth ride and success even by stepping on or manipulating every other person along the way! They never seem to get their comeuppance … so I always felt a duty to fight against them and try to get justice! I will even confess that on some level I was jealous of them; it’s hard to explain because I didn’t want to be who they were, but I was jealous that they had managed to capture the audience that I needed to capture.
I had a chip on my shoulder! It annoyed me to see people gaining popularity and success by being “false” or selling people some unrealistic dream, while poor little me was fighting the uphill battle of trying to right all the wrongs and injustice in the world! There were a few reasons why I had so much frustration and stress in my life over these matters. For one, I fixated on the wrongs and the task of undoing them (which is next to impossible with the attitude I had); I developed a sense of panic and urgency, impatience, rashness, a sharp/quick tongue (or words that I typed), all because I didn’t want more people falling for their BS. I wanted wanted wanted things to change I thought the only way I could do this was to be the brass-necked one who knocks them off their high horse. I appointed myself this role and all it has ever got me is trouble! Looking back, my unhappiness and discontent all boiled down to ONE thing … being dissatisfied with my current situation and constantly living in the future! I wanted to be in a different position, have a bigger audience, be more popular … all these things were placed in some future picture and all I could see was the long path to get there. I was so focused on the destination that I forgot to start walking there.
The “One Day” Mentality!
The reason I felt rushed and impatient was because I NEEDED to reach these people and “save” them. I would play out in my head how I wanted things to go and I would always seem to be saying “one day” this/that will happen. “One Day I will have the voice I need to reach more people”, “one day, I’ll show them”, “one day, I will be happy”, “one day I will be leaner/stronger”. Or the best one: “One day, I will meet my future husband and we will live happily ever after” haha! How sad was my present life at the time that I lived everything in the future. I would get so caught up in thinking about “all the work that I STILL had to do”, that my productivity came to a halt! Procrastination, speculation and day-dreaming became my daily habit while my life (and my mission) started to pass me by as I became ever more distracted by all the wrongs around me. Who wouldn’t be stressed by that!!
Living outside of NOW is the biggest contradiction out there. When you are anywhere but “now”, you cannot be living … you are merely dreaming/existing/floating!
If you catch yourself living in the future realm of “One Day”, be still a minute and think about what’s happening around you right NOW! Notice the little things and feel the ground beneath your feet. Staying grounded in “now” is the only true way to enjoy life and the only true way to make a difference to people around you.
Now I make a daily effort (this is something I make myself do every morning and night, because I still get sucked in to my old ways from time to time) of feeling present and not getting distracted by my dreams (note: it is ok to have dreams and goals, but we must not let the time frame become so daunting that we forget to start our journey, or start feeling there’s no point). It’s natural to want to be a success, but who’s to say you are not already a success??
This is what I have come to realise; whether my audience is small or large, I am getting to act out my dream NOW. My message is being heard and I am helping people – so I sure as hell won’t insult you all by saying “that’s not enough”. One of the keys to living a more productive “now” is being grateful for what you have. If you are discontent, you will start living in the past or the future and you disconnect from now. As for my future husband … well, I have learned to be happy single and I have stopped expecting the right man to come along and started focusing on making myself the right woman. It’s a daily exercise to keep your mind in the present, especially if your are a natural dreamer like me, but it’s worth putting the effort in to.
“One Day” does not exist; it will never happen. The only day that matters is TODAY! What you do today matters!
Today, I waste no energy on people who are crafty, manipulative or selfish; today I am praising good things and spreading a positive message one step at a time. If someone else has what I THINK I want, I am happy for them. I leave the navigation of my life up to God, for I have no knowledge or understanding of the future – that is not my purpose. My only time is now.
Just because some days are more challenging than others, does not mean that we can’t develop ourselves, rise above it, hold on to gratitude for the good things we have. Challenges are not an excuse to run off to the future again – acknowledge the challenge and deal with it, otherwise it lingers until you come back from your daydream!
Let go of that “One Day” mentality, because it really is the biggest ball and chain of your life! If your goal is fat loss, gaining strength, being more positive, being happy with your body – whatever – STOP the “one day” thinking and just begin.
Remember this life lesson: If the future never exists, then your final destination will never exist. This must mean all that is ever really real, is the part of the path we are on now. In other words, it’s all about the journey 🙂