There are way too many cute and meaningful sounding quotes about the future to mention. Suffice it to say most of them are romantic and fanciful. The only genuinely factual thing about the future is that no one knows for certain how any of it will pan out. And there’s a good reason for that; it is created moment to moment.
Put bluntly: This thing we call the future is made up as we go along.
I know that rubs against the grain for many, indeed the majority, of folks. Not because they aren’t bright, brainy and mentally keen, but simply because they labour under the illusion of being in control.
I recall the time, the energy and the sheer effort spent making annual plans and formulating budgets, when I was involved in the corporate life. It took many people, may hours and days collecting, sifting through, creating and stressing over the required and associated data. It happens every year. And you know what else happens every year? The budgets are almost always off prediction. There used to be a running joke in my group— “At least we have something to deviate from.”
They set such great store by these forecasts that it borders on the ridiculous. Yes, businesses need some kind of a bottom line target but the zest and zeal invested, and pats on the head given for targets that oftentimes may as well have been pulled out of a lottery barrel is loony-tune material.
It isn’t different in personal lives. Some of the crazy things planned and wished for can at times make your head spin. The dichotomy between the so-called plan and eventuality is like the grand canyon of futility.
Scottish poet Robert Burns nailed it in four lines:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
We live in a frightened, uncertain world. Stability is the prize sought. It is sought in every walk of life, yet it isn’t in to be found in any walk of life. But we can dream, right?
Planning gives the illusion of stability. Yes, this is what will happen this time next year. I predict it! And I’ll be here to witness it.
If it appears like I’m putting down the structures surrounding the future and planning dogma concepts, I’m not. Trying to put down an illusion only serves to strengthen the illusion, and secondly, I’ve been there done that, a few times over.
You know what though, dear reader? Once you’re finally free of it, free of the planning and sweating over expectations it’s like the proverbial weight has been lifted off your very soul. And that’s because it has.
I don’t know where I’ll be this time next year. I don’t know what I’ll be doing, or with whom I’ll be doing it. All I know is what I’m doing right Now.
And right now, I’m writing to you … with love!