The Needs of the Now and Future Now

The Needs of the Now and Future Now

[00:00:00] Well hello, this is The Daily Five with Aurooba. That's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] Do the thing that's good for right now, or do the thing that's good for later and might cause some discomfort right now. Do the thing that's good for now with speed or do the thing that's good right now a bit slower and better so it's not so terrible later. The needs of the now and the needs of the future now.

[00:00:41] This tension is everywhere in our lives. Everywhere. I'm sleepy and I can just change quickly and throw my clothes onto that chair in the corner and get into bed super fast and in the morning I'll have to deal with it. Or I'll keep doing it until, you know, there's a mountain of clothes on that chair and it's a serious chore that will take serious time.

[00:01:06] Or I'm sleepy but my future matters to me and I take that extra one minute to put the clothes away properly. Or I'm sleepy but I'll take an extra minute in the morning to do it so it doesn't build up. Don't get me wrong, that chair, it gets clothes thrown onto it in my house. I do it. You probably do it too.

[00:01:24] But the point is, you are constantly balancing the needs of the now with the needs of the future. And sometimes the needs of the now will win. And sometimes the needs of the future now need to win. That balance will look different from situation to situation and day to day. There's no one single right answer.

[00:01:47] Are you wondering why I keep saying future now and not just future? I promise you it's not an accident and it's not because I don't know how to speak. There is a now in the future, where you will need to make this same decision again. And if in the present now, you care about that future now, that future now is going to be better off.

[00:02:10] And you've now made an improvement to your cycle of decisions. It is slightly less vicious. And you've made a bit of progress towards that ideal you might have in your mind of how things are supposed to be. It's also very possible that after recording this episode, the word 'now' loses all meaning for me temporarily.

[00:02:35] Another term for balancing the needs of the now and the needs of the future now is sustainability. I know that for a lot of us, when we think of sustainability, we think of the environment. Environmental advocacy has done an excellent job at making us associate that word with the earth, and it's pretty awesome.

[00:02:54] And, sustainability is important in all aspects of our lives. When every day is about the needs of the now, you'll be marching towards your goals with a permanent limp, which may eventually turn into a broken bone, which may eventually turn into the loss of a limb, and stop your movement entirely. When every day is about the needs of the future now, you don't move enough, even though you stay healthy, and eventually you stop moving at all.

[00:03:24] Because a complete focus on either is a detriment to your success. So, how do you keep making progress towards your goals and still enable yourselves to make better progress as you go? You know when you sprain your ankle? The doctor, the world, the internet, your spouse, your brother, your mom, everyone tells you, hey, rest your ankle.

[00:03:50] Because if you keep walking on it, you may risk making the problem worse. You may risk permanent damage, and you might not be able to use it for even longer if you do that to yourself right now. So it's worth it to take some rest now so that later you're not in, you know, a way bigger world of hurt. No work, no project, no goal, no system, no anything can continue to make progress if it keeps sacrificing its health and depleting its resources in the now without any regard for the future.

[00:04:24] I'm not saying I have an answer or a solution, I'm just saying that this is a fundamental tension in life, and figuring out how to deal with it is a fundamental lesson we all have to learn again and again at many levels in many ways. And it is worth thinking really, really hard about at least once in a while in the situations you find yourselves in.

[00:04:46] And you're going to find this situation a lot in your life.

[00:04:54] Thanks for listening, same time tomorrow?