The Future . . . and How to Look Forward to It
November 12, 2021
Tristan Goteng (he/him/his), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
The future. It is such a common term, yet it is so complex and difficult to wrap our heads around because we don’t quite understand what the future is. We don’t know what is planned for us in the future, if we can alter fate, or if the future even exists at all. That unknown causes humans to be anxious and fearful about the future. Thinking about the future is addictive, and it is hard to stop worrying. But constantly focusing on the future pulls our attention away from what is more important: the present.
While I am no expert in psychology and I definitely haven’t invented a time machine, I do know some strategies to fight against the stress of the future. Every person is different, so some methods I will mention will for sure work for you, and others might not. But I have to warn you right now that the solutions in this blog aren’t just a one-time thing. Changing away from fearing the future requires dedication, reflection and mental consciousness. Don’t worry though! Even if it may seem difficult and tedious, it really isn’t. It just takes some time to get used to, but once you make a habit of these methods, you won’t notice it anymore! Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will have learned how to avoid having fear of the future, and in turn, live your life with less stress and more joy!
Alright, so where do we start? Well, I think we need to first clarify that we are not forgetting about the future. Rather, it is about not overthinking it. Avoiding the future completely doesn’t help, because it just makes every moment an unprepared panic. That is why I recommend creating two planners: one yearly calendar for important events, and one weekly/daily planner for routines and specific details. The key to this is organization. Being organized without being obsessed over the future is very important to reducing fear. Organization is knowing ahead of time what you have to do; it is planning ahead so everything goes smoothly and then leaving it be. Being obsessed is planning ahead, but then constantly thinking about your schedule or being scared that you might forget something. So how do we move away from obsession and towards organization? We write things down. Once it is on paper or your phone, it stays, so unless something needs to be desperately reordered, leave it be. That way you aren’t scared about forgetting something because it is right there in front of you like a checklist. You don’t need to doubt it because your whole day, week, even year is planned and everything will work out just as scheduled.
Maybe you aren’t the forgetful type, and missing out on something isn’t the reason you are scared of the future. It could be that not knowing the outcome of things causes you to fear. I can relate, because I honestly don’t know which university/college I will study at. Will I be accepted to any school? Did I do enough? What am I doing wrong? All I have to say here is to work hard. Do your best in everything you do, no matter how large or small the task is. Then you don’t have to worry, because no matter what the outcome will be, you’ll know in your heart you did all you could do, and there was nothing more that could change the results. More often than not, if you try your hardest, you will be rewarded with the outcome you wish for. However, sometimes the desired outcome simply is unattainable, and that will be easier to accept if you gave your all to it. You couldn’t control the events that happened any further, so let it be. I can promise you, once the results come in, whether good or bad, if you put your best foot forward, then you will live without regrets.
If you aren’t forgetful, and you aren’t worried about the outcomes of the future, then the third most common fear of the future relates to time. Time is always ticking away, and it always feels like there is a shortage of time. We all know that the amount of time for humans is limited, and we never know when we have run out. This is probably the biggest fear in most people, and it can really take a toll on your mental health. How do we deal with this? The answer is actually more simple than you may think. Take the time to do things that you enjoy. Spend time with your family, complete your bucket list. Use the time you have and live life to the fullest. Yes, you may be thinking, “But I don’t have enough time to do these things!” You may have work, or school, or something else to do. This is why you should practice the first solution. Manage your time, and set some time aside to do enjoyable things, because you don’t want to have any regrets. You don’t have to worry about fulfilling your purpose if you take advantage of every second you have.
So plan your schedule and write it down. Always work hard, no matter what you do. Make use of all the time available, and set time aside to do what you want to do before it runs out. Try them all, see which ones relate to you, and live a stress-free and fulfilling life!
The future can be scary, so let’s change that together.
My name is Tristan Goteng, and I am currently a high school student studying at St.George’s Senior School. I love writing and helping others overcome common obstacles that block us from growing!
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