A young client of mine worries that her future self will never have what she desires - the house, the husband, the kids, the dog (you know, the things we think we need in order to have a good life).
Another client worries that her 3-year-old’s intense tantrums mean that her son will have serious emotional issues and grow up to be an unhappy adult.
Does your mind ride a train of thoughts into the future? Is this train taking you where you want to go?
How much time does your mind spend worried about what will happen or not happen and how you will cope?
Like so many habits of mind, this is normal. It’s just not helpful.
Here is a quick tip to hop off the train (at least for periods of time):
Remind yourself that the future isn’t here yet.
It’s just your mind talking.
So come back to the present. This is where we can direct our attention to what brings us meaning and purpose.
For my young client, we determined that the best she can do right now for her future is to work hard, be kind and extend herself socially.
The best that the mom of the 3-year-old can do is to love her child through those tantrums and calm herself.
We cannot control the future. But we can control how we act, the kind of people we are.
In this moment.
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