Why have a realistic approach to your future?

A woman thinking about her future.

Young or old, rich or poor, sick or healthy, you have a future, for the word “future” means “time that is to come.”

And everyone reaches the future at the same rate of 60 minutes an hour. What that future will bring for you, however, depends on how you view it and plan for it.

Your future consists of more than just the time that remains of your present life.

It also includes how you use that time, the plans you have made, the goals you have set.

Why some don’t care about their future?


Why is it that so many give so little thought to the future? There are a number of reasons for this. Here are some of them:

▪ The anxiety and struggle of everyday life stifles thoughts of the future.

▪ The “now generation” philosophy promotes the view, ‘live for the moment and the future will take care of itself.’

▪ Those pursuing the ‘whatever will be, will be’ way of life believe destiny alone shapes the future.

▪ The ‘what’s the use’ feeling results in despair and deters setting goals for the future.

But how about those who do plan for the future? Their plans may lack objectivity and their future may, therefore, become disappointing. How so?

Because there are some things that shape human thought that can make a person expectations for the future flawed.

One is inherited genetic traits; the other, the environment. And the philosophy of the political, religious, economic and social community is constantly squeezing people into its mold.

The result? Deflection of effort away from a realistic future.

A realistic approach to your future


‘How can I have a realistic and meaningful future?’ you wonder. 

The answer may lie in what Nobel Prize winner John Galsworthy wrote: "If you do not think about the future, you cannot have one.”

Give serious thought first to what the future could bring. Next think about what you would like to be and do in that future. 

Then take the needed action to direct your steps toward that goal.

But remember humans lack complete control of future situations and must react to them as they develop.

For example, your effort may include preparing for your children’s education, assuming that this will guarantee them a more promising future. 

Yet there are university graduates who become unemployed.

Or you may be working extremely hard at present so as to be financially secure in the future. But inflation and economic recession can strip away financial holdings.

Or it may be looking forward to retirement with a home and an income that will give material independence and the ability to live out the golden years in comfort.

Yet some disaster may rob you of this hope.

Or it may be you believing that the future will somehow become better tomorrow. But that “tomorrow” never comes.

What can do when your life does not turn out like you had planned it?

Suppose you are planning for a family picnic but find out that the weather forecast calls for a severe thunderstorm. Would you not change your plans?

There is nothing you can do to control the weather, but you do not have to get drenched. 

If alternative steps are taken, the family can have a pleasant time elsewhere despite the storm.

For some however, self-delusion may be more pleasant than facing reality, but it does not provide a living, feed loved ones, or enable one to cope with the many other requirements of life.

A person who imagines things are the way he would like them to be, instead of facing them the way they really are, is not reasoning on the facts, but is building on fancy. His powers of discernment are clouded.

Those who ignore the facts and delude themselves with fancy are like the proverbial ostrich that hides his head in the sand when danger nears.

However, the realist person recognizes that such ostrich exists in fables only, not in fact! 

The ostrich of reality does not ignore the fact of danger. He does not hide his head in the sand.

To the contrary, he moves away from the source of potential harm so rapidly that few animals can keep up with him when he is in full flight.

Daydreamers are like that proverbial ostrich

They hide their heads in the sands of self-deception and fancy when situations arise that demand a realistic facing of the facts, and actions based on those facts.

Therefore, for your future to be more realistic, be willing to make the necessary adjustments to meet the various challenges you will meet in the future.

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