Iron Maiden’s 17th album will be out in September and I found myself really looking forward to it. I mean, it has been 6 years since their last! This also made me think about the case of constantly needing something to look forward to. How it is a sure sign of unease and tension. For, it begs the question — is the present so unsatisfying that you must frequently live for tomorrow?
Living for tomorrow
Common phrases such as “it’s something to look forward to” while innocent sounding, could hide pressure and discontentment. And, I know the feeling well from when I was once employed. There was once a time when I was regularly looking forward to the weekend or to my next holiday. Or, even to the cancellation of that boring meeting the next day. Anything to pull me away from spending too much time in what my heart was not 100% in. I was relying on these anticipated future joys like crutches to carry me through the present. Yet, these future joys were but a small respite, before returning to what I did not really find inspiring.
Living for tomorrow can apply to more than just employment too. One may similarly muddle through personal relationships, never quite feeling at ease in them. Constantly clinging to future plans to bring some meaning to the present. But, if the present experience feels meaningless and you spend a lot of time doing it, that is exactly what really needs looking at! Escaping by living in the future is not going to work for long. Or, it will ‘work’, but at a great cost to your health.
Beyond needing something to look forward to
Looking forward to things is not a problem, per se. I mean, who doesn’t look forward to a nice, sunny vacation? Rather, it is constantly needing something to look forward to that we must become awake to. For, it is sign that your heart is not really in what you are doing. That you might be relying on future events to carry you through the (unacknowledged) pain and pressure of the present.
So, there is a more fundamental question here: What keeps you stuck in whatever unsatisfying situation you are in?
Noticing your reality is the first step to breaking free.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.