Dying Daily #268: Planning for the Future, in the Moment

Follow-through, as we’ve discussed over the past few days, is important in life.

We all need to have plans and something larger we are working for, something we believe in.

So how does this work with a mindfulness- based lifestyle, one that calls for us to live in the moment and to to let things be as they are?

There is an important distinction that needs to be made here when talking about living in the moment. A mindful lifestyle is about intentionality. Intentionality of thought, of awareness, of life itself. It’s not an excuse to be irresponsible and careless by not planning for the future. It’s just about not letting the future dominate the present.

We can have hopes and dreams and plans without having them take over our present.

We can be intentional about how we think about the future and about the plans we make. When we are working on future-oriented projects, we can do so in the present.

In fact, that is the only place we can work on things for the future, because the future never arrives. It’s always the present.

Sometimes it is about setting aside what we want to do in the moment to follow-through on our plans, other times it’s about setting aside our work so that we can take our kids to the park or our partner to a movie.

It’s about being intentional with whatever we are doing.

What you do today will determine what you have tomorrow and in 6 months and in 6 years. We have a responsibility to be intentional and skillful with the things that are given to us, and to make use of what we have in a way that goes beyond today and tomorrow. It is not mindless to set things up for the future unless we start to live there or get so attached to plans that we cannot let them go if they do not pan out.

Plan for the future, but do it in the present. It’s all you have.