Being present is a key practice of happy people, but when you are moving towards a goal, it’s easy to slip into being future-oriented. Thinking about the future can encourage your to reach goals, and plan for the kind of reality that you want, but it can also produce anxiety, fearful thinking, and make you lose perspective of the progress you’ve made.
Frank Ocean, a member of Odd Future and one of the most unique, talented and promising song-writers in the industry right now, posted a conversation he would have with his five-years ago self if he could.
I like Â this because it helps us gain perspective of how far we have come, and how far we can still go. It’s also a reminder of how quickly things can change.
A letter to my 23-year-old self would look something like this:
Where to start? The grad program is cool, but it will not have the purpose in your life that you think it will. You already sense this though, so just trust your instincts. Also, you’re not going to marry him, and it’s for the best. You already have a sense of this too though. Keep writing. Don’t try to qualify it or tie it into a “real” career path, just keep doing it. You can make a living off of your obsessions and fascinations, but it will be another few years before you fully let go and do it. The urge to switch gears will become stronger down the road. You are not a flake, and you’re not having a “quarter-life crisis.” You know what you want, it’s just that your ability to suck it up and do work that doesn’t inspire you or call on your strengths is dwindling. The missteps weren’t missteps after all. It was all a part of the plan. Right now you are happy, in love, healthy, and busy. Fear will become like a pebble in your shoe, not anything like the rock in your stomach it is now. You are in the neural zone now, the “in-between time.” You will come out. And life will be great.
What letter would you write to yourself, five years ago? Send me a link to it, or write it in the comments section.