The future is one of those big topics that gets spoken about from a very young age. In childhood, ‘the future’ refers to high school options and college choices. In young adulthood, ‘the future’ means marriage and family planning. In middle age, ‘the future’ looks toward retirement and collecting a pension. The future means different things to different generations, and the more that you think about it, the scarier it can feel.
Most people will tell you that they don’t panic about getting older. The truth is that every single person out there has fears about the future. Will they graduate? Will they get that new job? Will he ever propose? Will I need to start saving for a skilled nursing plan? All of these questions can invite anxiety and fear into a life that doesn’t need anymore uncertainty. Being afraid of the future, though, doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Being afraid means feeling like you have something to lose, and the future is the unknown. If you are feeling afraid of the unknown, you are being smart!
When you don’t know what to expect from your future, you tend to plan. You could plan that by a certain age, you’d like to have bought a house and succeeded in your career. You could plan a family and a life with someone you have romantic feelings for. The trouble with plans? The universe laughs at them. Planning out an idyllic existence in your head is one thing, and being able to see that plan through to the end is entirely different. You are capable of strategically planning for the future with your finances, your wishes after death and your will, but you can’t dictate how the actual results happen. You can say that you would like to be married and settled by age 30, but if you don’t meet the right person, you won’t be able to do that.
It’s important to have future goals and wishes, but it’s equally as important not to put too much hope into them – just in case. Realistically, you can achieve absolutely anything you want to, and planning for your future, both your career and personal goals as well as retirement, doesn’t have to frighten you. Being sensible with your finances so that you are paying into a plan every month to retire comfortably makes good sense, especially if you see yourself with a family. You want to be able to feel secure as you move into the winter years of life, and if you can manage that relatively unscathed, your life has been a success.
The future as a whole doesn’t have to make you feel overwhelmed. Breaking things down into goals and giving yourself a chance to achieve them is so important for good life management. It’s hard to know about a world and life that you haven’t reached yet, but it can be the biggest adventure you ever go on. Don’t let fear spoil that adventure, when excitement is so much more fun!