I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. – Alan Watts
Controlling the Future
Do you wish you could control your future?
I do. I have an urge to know and I’ve always fought to be in control of my life.
And throughout university, it was good, I felt in control. My path was laid out and graduating with a job as a banker was a clear target. I had a laser focus, strict routine, and deadlines to meet.
Graduation. Job done. All good.
But then I went travelling…
It was shit scary. There was no day-to-day routine. No path. No goals or targets to meet. No accountability.
I could go anywhere and be anyone I wanted.
It felt very overwhelming, and I didn’t feel in control.
I didn’t like the prospect of uncertainty. I was extremely close to going home to get a safe job, but luckily a good friend persuaded me to ride it out for a few more months.
Those few months turned into 3.5 years and I’m happy to say I’m still riding out the uncertainty now.
Since hitting the road, I’ve crashed on my fair share of couches around the world. I’ve stayed with doctors, bankers, spiritual teachers, lawyers, families, Mormons, a transvestite and even a nudist.
The vast differences between human beings never ceased to amaze me, but over time I noticed a reassuring similarity between all the people I met.
We’re all in the same boat. We’re all winging it. We’re all fearful about the future.
We like to think the world works in straight lines but it’s a little more wigglier than that.
Change is inevitable and nature is much more powerful than me, you, and anybody else.
Even our grandest guesses about the future are made using information derived from the past.
So throw your future contingency plan out the window. It’s already obsolete.
Instead of creating a master plan, what about adopting a vision, which guides you blindly into the future?
A belief. A religion. A WHY. A passion. A cause.
Something bigger than yourself that empowers you to step forward into the uncertainty.
Beauty is found in the spontaneous, so fill in the gaps along the way, and be open to your vision moulding to changing circumstances.
Human beings are wired to be uncomfortable with uncertainty.
We want to know, and granted, there’s comfort in a certain and secure future but the more time you spend planning for a future, the less time you spend living in the now.
Real life will always be experienced in the present moment.
Embrace what life is giving you now, rather than letting it slip away.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Thursday 21st January 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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