“Do I want my life to be miserable when I am older?”
That is an interesting question, thanks for asking it, book that just messed with my head. That’s actually something that I typically don’t get asked on a daily basis. I prefer being asked, why are you so awesome? but sadly those are few and far in between.
To be honest, I initially rejected that question. After all, I don’t want to sit here and plan for another day when I have been graciously given today! Today is all we’ll ever be guaranteed, why waste it? I want to be present in my youth and still keep an eye on the horizon.
So the tension arrives with that question and I am confronted. Confronted with a new way of thinking. Confronted with living differently today for a brighter future tomorrow.
The thing is, do I live with the future in mind, making sure that I am still present today? Do I aim the trajectory of my life towards something better down the road while also enjoying the current stage of life?
That question was planted in my mind when I attended a conference a few months ago. Donald Miller gave a great perspective on this in his Storyline conference. After working through several different issues (like identifying your passions and roles, then moving towards those things) he said we should have a climactic scene in mind, something that we aim for in life. Miller also said we can only have 5 major roles that we can focus on and be excellent in (with minor roles, of course). For me, one of my major roles that I am performing is Jeremy the writer. And to let you in on my climactic scene for that role, eventually, I want to be a published author. So I envision myself opening up a box of freshly printed books. That scene will then become a guiding light of sorts. Not an obsession, but a motivation towards something greater. This climactic scene helps provide focus to one of my roles in life.
So I was challenged to picture this scene for different roles in my life. I then willfully choose to live with the perspective that I’m actually heading there– living as if it mattered. If I picture having a family free from the shackles of debt and standing atop the Eiffel Tower to celebrate (trip completely paid for, mind you), then I live today on a trajectory for that goal. That goal may not arrive quite as planned, but it will still make a better person today as I look toward tomorrow.
Plan and aim for tomorrow, but be present in today. That’s how I want to live my life. How about you?
Connect with the Storyline Process here