[TT] Now or Later?

Lately, I've been faced with the dilemma to live for the moment or to live for the future. I am a rather impulsive person. I tend to do a lot of things like eating junk food (or whatever I want at a particular time) or buying things I want almost like I'm going to die tomorrow. Many forms of entertainment motivate us to "live in the now" and to do what we want to do now or live to regret it.

Comic credit to MimiandEunice.com

I found an article online that pointed out that humans make goals after accumulating all the experiences in our lives in order to seek happiness, such as the grand goals of dating, getting married, having kids, establishing a career, travelling the world (not in any particular order), etc. However, in planning for the future in such a way, two specific things make our pursuit of happiness difficult:

  1. We are not very good at predicting what will make us happy in the future.
  2. We are not very good at accurately remembering what made us happy in the past.
This poses a difficult situation for me because, if I were to accept that these two stumbling blocks are true, our goals will never turn out the way we want them too, even if we believe that they will make us happy when we make them.

Additionally, another article spoke about the idea that living in the moment and planning for tomorrow are a marriage. There is no one without the other. The author goes on to say that living in the moment does not necessarily mean to do what we want, but to genuinely cherish the moments as they happen, not after and most definitely not in the distant future (which may spark regret). Living in the moment is essential to planning for tomorrow as cherishing our today allows us to have hopes and dreams for the future. Similarly, these hopes and dreams are what give our lives purpose. The author also points out the cons of living for the future in the form of over-planning. Worrying about working to earn money to save up for something and stressing over such goals can often lead to not being able live for the moment. In a nutshell, the author says that there needs to be a balance of both living for the now and living for the future.

So I guess what we can learn from today's jumbled Thought Thursday is that the pursuit of happiness stems from a fine balance of both cherishing the now and planning (but not worrying) for the future.

In my opinion, I feel that the perspective I should take is to make smarter decisions whilst living in the now. Although I may get the impulse to drop everything and blow all my money on a vacation, the long-term effects of such a decision would not bode well in my pursuit of lifelong happiness. Similarly, worrying too much about whether I will be able to have the time or be able to afford going on vacation is completely normal for human beings but hinder our positive outlook on the future. A positive outlook, as predicted, is essential to being happy.

What do you think? Do you sometimes want to drop everything and go do something you've always wanted? Do you have a similar dilemma between living in the now and living for the future?

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