Do you look back on a time in your life and half think, ‘That was sweet…’ and half think, ‘If only I’d appreciated it…‘? Well, chances are you’re in one of those times right now. Living right now in a time you’ll look back on and think, ‘Those were the days…’,
The one thing you have total control over are your thoughts right now. So why not think that now, while you’re within that time. Try thinking, ‘These are the days…’.
It definitely works if these days right now are going well for you. But what if you’re in a situation that sucks right now?
Well, if you manage to pull yourself out of this shitty situation, you’re going to look back on this time as that time that made you who you are. That time made you appreciate the good times. The time that, without it, made you stronger. So, still, these are the days.
There was a TV show I watched years ago (don’t remember which) about a girl who only enjoys things looking back, or looking forward to them. I remember that, 1: because I’d never heard anyone say that about someone and 2: It sounded exactly like me at the time.
My wife I were on a road trip in Western Australia in 2011 when we stopped in at a gift shop in Margaret River. I came across a little gift sign that said something like, “Happiness is having something to look forward to, and something to look back on.” I thought it was cool and it made me smile. That is, until the cynical and sassy sales assistant guy came over, saw me admiring it and burst my bubble…
CYNICAL AND SASSY SALES ASSISTANT GUY [with both of us looking at the sign]: Pretty stupid, right?
ME: What do you mean?…
CYNICAL AND SASSY SALES ASSISTANT GUY: Well, that means you’re not actually happy. You’re looking back and forward but you’re not happy right now.
Shit. That made total sense.
Tim Ferriss says that 80% of the enjoyment of things is anticipation, while his guest on his podcast the other week, Cheryl Strayed enjoys things mostly in retrospect. Throughout most of my life, I’ve done an equal amount of both. But now I’m focusing on enjoying this right now –without looking forward in anticipation and without looking back and reminiscing too much. These are the days.