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How to Worry Less About the Future and Make Each Week Awesome

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worry less

I used to worry incessantly about how the future would turn out. Then, it finally dawned on me that all this worrying was doing nothing to help me. It was taking away from my present, and by doing that, it was draining my future from what it could eventually become.

I fundamentally began to realize that the feelings and actions I feel and take week by week, would ultimately create my future. So if I fret and worry now, I’m laying the seeds for continuing that cycle in the future. If I smile and do my best work now, then I’m laying the seeds for that too.

The only way I can be sure of creating a great future is to do my best to create a great present, incrementally improving it week by week – despite the mishaps and little pains that inevitably arise through the course of life.

These days, I write what I’m grateful for every morning and night. I hug my family every day. I do a little exercise each day. I eat a healthy meal each day. I work on my writing each day. Because small acts multiplied through Monday to Sunday and each week, change my future by an enormous amount.

Why are we focused on the distant future?

The underlying reason behind why we worry so much about the future is because we’ve put it on a pedestal. The same model of focusing on a particular guy or girl replicates itself with the way we lead our lives. Macy can’t stop thinking about Gary, so she’s spending less time feeling happy about her life; giving less time to her hobbies and friendships (her present). But really Gary is a scumbag (the future) and doesn’t care about her.

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” – Thomas Carlyle

Done right, thinking about the future may be useful since it can engender positive actions in the present. For instance, perhaps Macy realizes that Gary isn’t good for her after some careful thinking and starts focusing her attention on the right people and goals. Yet, when we concentrate on the future too much, it creates anxiety and a distorted vision that cripples our ability to take advantage of each week.

The first step in getting over our anxiety for the future is first to accept that the only reason why we’re anxious is because we’re looking away from what’s in front of us. The second step is recognizing that, at the deepest root, our anxiety for the future comes down to believing that it’s our salvation (most often, that’s never the case).

We need to change the lens we’re looking through

Since many of us don’t have a dominant overriding focus time view, our mind naturally gravitates to its default thinking; the distant future. But since our mind loves concepts, we might as well hold on to the one that serves us best. And a week to two weeks seems to be the sweet spot.

Tim Ferriss, the well know author of the Four Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans, lives his life through the mainframe of two-week experiments within six-month timelines; eschewing five-year plans for a more short term focus. Cancer patients, who know that their death is coming within the year, inevitably start losing their fear of being successful and start taking more action.

Several other different authors like Scott Adams, have explored the benefits of setting short-term deadlines and using systems based thinking. So for instance, instead of dreaming about writing a book, for example, ditch the idea and focus on writing a chapter per week. Short term focus gets you moving.

But you can’t do anything when you’re focusing on the what-if’s in-between a month, to five years, or a decade from now. And that state of inaction is what sets the stage for worry.

To worry less about the future, here are some of the things you can focus on through the lens of the week:

  • What time you wake up
  • What you choose to eat, read, and watch
  • Blocking 1-3 hours daily or more to drive you towards your goals
  • Meeting your friends
  • Saying thank you, smiling, and laughing as often as you can

We all have goals and dreams. But to build the best future possible, all you need to come back to is making your week as phenomenal as you can. Not too long ago, you were picturing how life would be like when you’d be *insert your current age*.

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” – John Lubbock

Don’t let that cycle repeat itself your whole life. Act this week, and make it count. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Though, I’m not saying we need to live each day like it’s our last — we’re all going to have our off days. I just like you will have minor blips along my journey.

And having a perfectionist mindset is only going to screw us over in the long run. But long as we keep showing up in our work, relationships, and habits each week, the future will be okay. To have a dazzling future, all we need to focus on is making our average week better by 1-5% consistently.

By applying the principles in this article, living each week in a phenomenal manner will eventually become more and more natural. That’s the place where you want to get to. Where doing the hard things becomes easier. Where embracing the week instead of the imaginary future, becomes your default living mechanism.

Eventually, you’ll barely care about the future. Why? Because you’ll get all the thrills and fulfilment you need by crushing it every week.

What are some ways that help you stop worrying about the future so that you focus more on the present? Leave your thoughts below!

Samy Felice is a writer who is passionate about unique ideas related to living a meaning life. If you want to experience 10x more fulfilment than the average person, download his free book on creating your best week ever.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Aida

    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

    very educating!!thank you

  2. Anjali Papreja

    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:47 am

    It is amazing 🙂

  3. Marquita Herald

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I absolutely agree with your point about breaking down goals and not underestimating the importance of today. On the other hand, there are an awful LOT of people who are already living their lives focused on just getting through today who can’t even conjure up an image of life beyond their current circumstances. Many of them are facing a future with no backup plan for what to do if they’re blindsided by an unexpected detour, let alone when they eventually reach their “golden” years.

    Like most things in life, I believe the key is balance, and while Tim Ferriss may focus on his goals in two week and six-month increments, no one is going to convince me that he doesn’t have a master plan for this career, or life for that matter. Creating a personal foundation that includes a vision for the future is vastly different from obsessing about it.

    One of my favorite quotes says it pretty well, “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things so that all of the small things go in the right direction.” ~Alvin Toffler

    Thanks so much for the thought-provoking article!

    • Samy Felice

      Jan 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hey Marquita,

      You do bring up a very important point. I definitely feel that its incredibly useful to have a vision to work towards. But at the same time, most people I’ve spoken to and come across feel an enormous amount of weight when they focus exclusively on this vision. I myself can’t perform at my best if I’m not focusing on what’s right in front of me.

      Distilling your vision into the week, is the principle philosophy being shared in this article. It’s about making sure you actually are doing “the little things” (as you mentioned), as opposed to just ruminating about the what-ifs.

      Thank you for commenting!

  4. Chris

    Jan 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Worry is useless … negativity is only valuable in that it defines problems so action can be taken. Great post as always!

  5. Ewen Munro

    Jan 22, 2017 at 7:38 am

    This is a great read, Samy! Thank you. 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

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