Very important point here...we can allocate so much more time toward Self-Actualization which oddly enough can easily be taken for granted if we don't know what to do with it. How many times have I come across a FIRE blog or a post where the author is depressed because he/she doesn't know what to do with their time? That blows my mind! For me the answer is really easy, I just need peace & contentment and a big part of that I believe is just not having an alarm clock! But I can't keep thinking about this one day..reality is I've an alarm clock right now and I've to develop strategies to deal with that (going to bed earlier, etc.). And commuting (find useful podcasts / videos to watch while on the road). All different coping strategies. It also helps that I don't hate my job right now. I remind myself of this so as to not take it for granted.classical_Liberal wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 4:09 pmVery nice last post!
You are not alone, I struggle with these exact issues. While there is very much an art to learning to live in the present, I think some of us are more hardwired than others to look towards the future. I've had varying success in my life trying to focus on the present.
I think consumerist YOLO is only a bastardization of true present mindedness. The period in my adult life in which I was most successful in remaining present-minded was also the period where money and consumer pleasures were the most scarce (because I was poor). I don't have an answer for you if you suffer from this, other than abstinence, which would force substitution. Soon enough the reality will reveal itself.
Obviously there are plenty of internals to focus on, but I think there are also plenty of externals as well. I have a hard time focusing on now/the next 24 hours when I see very little joy in the upcoming activities. I really think the key is to begin to take away the activities we know are undermining happiness. Too often we are tempted to analyse and compare. Like, "oh 'X' isn't so bad, there is no reason it should make me miserable, at least I don't have to Y". This may be stoic in a sense, but it is the wrong answer, IMO. If you know "X" is something that consistently brings about unhappiness it needs to be substituted for something else. We all need to look forward to our present and our next 24 hours, without sacrificing next year or decade. The wealth of modern society has afforded us this luxury. If our day-to-day activities are pleasant (based on each individuals perspective), present focus becomes much easier.
One useful quadrant I learned while in the military (for coping with stress and being all-around resilient in life) is to make sure you've your big 4 in order:
Physical - Exercise, eat healthy, don't smoke.
Mental - Preparation, stress management, anger management, financial management, letting things go, etc.
Social - Don't be a hermit. Stay in touch with friends and family. Be nice on the internet.
Spiritual - Religion if you've one. If atheist, find other means. I get mine lately from Buddhism talks and studying different philosophy's (stoicism lately).
True. Gardening is great for this because there is this initial investment, long maintenance of adding soil enrichment and pulling weeds, with the hopes of one day (many months later) of harvesting the fruits/veggies. A great feeling that can be done cheaply.prognastat wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 7:35 pmI would say a large part of consumerism doesn't come from the actual present, but rather the near term. The anticipation of the purchase/acquisition leading to the payoff.
This is why there is a certain empty-ness shortly after acquiring something new. The enjoyment came from the lead up, the anticipation and maybe the first moments of use. Much like the child on Christmas, enraptured by opening a present only to put it aside and forget it while moving onto the next wrapped toy.
I wouldn't say this is really being present, but rather a distraction from the present.
Debt is a prison. Your job is a prison. Relationships can sometimes be prison if you don't like your spouse. A wise man once said a prison is what you deem it to be though. Attitude is key. The only difference between a prison and a sanctuary is you don't want to be in the former but want to be in the latter.mooretrees wrote: ↑Fri May 10, 2019 10:30 amI’ve been thinking of this dilemma quite a bit lately too. I want to be out of debt and am anticipating how great that will feel, but that thinking takes me away from my son, and husband and out of the present. I felt I could have written this! I wouldn’t say I have a solution, but I keep turning to my “web of goals.” I figure if I focus of those activities that I want to do and things I want to learn now, then the future thinking will fade away. Of course, it’s not 100% effective, but it is a start. Good luck to you!
Example - Two people are aggressively paying down their student loans. One is depressed because they don't get to spend their money on other things. They complain about society and the cost of tuition and may regret going to college. The other is simply happy to have a guaranteed return equal to the interest rate of the debt and on a path towards financial independence.