The Future of the Real You
The last few years have shown us how precious and short life can be. As a result, many of us view decisions about how we spend our Jeepin time differently. We are now looking to the future more. We’ve seen terrible things happen in this world lately that don’t seem to make sense. But they do cause us to reflect on just what the heck is going on in our own lives, and what kinds of things we want to do now and in our future.
The question becomes: How do we decide on a course of action now when the future is so unpredictable?
Deciding a course of future action is much like picking a new road to follow — with twists and turns awaiting you.
Young people commonly want everything now. The older generation still wants it all but realizes that there are some things we can’t have.So most of us struggle to balance what we want with reality throughout our lives. But this does not have to be traumatic. There are some tricks to learn that can help us deal with life’s mundane but bug-the-heck-out-of-you decisions.
Recently a friend came to me with a mid-life crisis decision. He is in his mid-forties and very successful in his career pursuit. His family is young and needs his attention. He is at his prime at work and doing great things. But, like most of us, he has many strings tugging at his mind daily. He has been asked to promote and move into a whole new career obligation with new priorities and time commitments.
Choosing how you spend your time has many faces.
The new move and career change would give him more money but less time with his family – and less time in his Jeep. It will also add more stress to his work life. This is a very tough decision.
For another example, a young friend came to me for advice about her crisis. She’s a single mom with three kids and one Jeep, looking to make it independently. She wants family time, but reality says she needs to work. On the other hand, she needs more education if she’s really going to make it on her own and be able to raise her family the way she wants. So does she go to school and give up family time and her current income level so she can have more income in the future? This, too, is a very tough decision.
Nearly all of us face these types of life decisions, let alone all the Jeep “build” opportunities and decisions – decisions that involve the now or later syndrome. Do I do something now and enjoy it later; do I do something later or enjoy it now?
Jeep-build decisions are always looming in front of us – depending on what you do with your Jeep.
There are many ways to look at this dilemma. But here’s one solution. Live young; think old.
My advice based on 60 years of living the motorized recreation life in all these scenarios is essentially the same. Live your life young in heart and spirit. Enjoy what you can. Take advantage of all opportunities your instinct (and health) says you should do. But think old while you do it.
In other words, learn to place yourself in the future and look back – as if you were older than you are now. I call this the “Think Old” exercise. Step out of the box you’re in now, and visualize you ten years from now, let’s say. Then look back at your last ten years and ask: what did I accomplish; how happy was I; did I do what I wanted to do?
Maybe the author got a little “young” for this “Think Old” exercise.
Use this new reflection (outside your current box) to decide your next moves. For example, plan a new career path; make life changes; save more money; validate your current situation; but consciously choose what that “look back” at your life will look like when you actually get there and look back.
You’ll need not overly constrain your “Think Old” exercise with current baggage. If you do that, you’ll invalidate your look back. So instead, try to erase the garbage muddling up your mind these days when you jump ahead in the future to look back. You’ll be much more successful at letting the real you out.
Again, live young. Just because this exercise advocates thinking old does not mean I’m suggesting you live like an old-timer if you’re not there yet. The longer you can live young at heart, the longer you’ll live. Enjoy life while you can. Be happy and find something to smile about every day. But try the Think Old exercise for a reality check and to ensure you have more happy days than not.
Don’t act like an old-timer if you’re not there yet. But if you are, stand proud!