Sometimes life can be easy and things just take care of themselves… but most of the time, it doesn’t work that way.
That’s why it is important for us to make plans so we will stand a better chance of providing for ourselves and our families and living the kind of lives we want to live.
The problem is the only time we can do anything about preparing for retirement or putting money away for the kids’ education or for anything else is right now.
That means it is even more important to spend most of our time living in the present.
I realise that sounds like a contradiction but keeping our minds in the present moment really does give us the best chance to be productive, and that in turn gives us a chance to save up for future needs.
As an added benefit it also allows us to enjoy what we already have… and that applies to the little things in life as well as the biggies.
Those thoughts came to me while my friend and I were walking back from the beach on the south coast of England.
We were in a great mood that day because the sun was shining and the ocean had been warm enough for us to stay in and body surf for close to half an hour.
Those of you familiar with English weather and ocean temperatures may find that hard to believe, but it’s true.
What I found hard to believe, and what triggered those thoughts, was that some of the other people on the beach didn’t notice how lucky we all were.
As we strolled through the warm sand beneath the palm trees, the whining of two middle-aged women broke the peace as they approached with their kids.
They weren’t happy with each other because they couldn’t agree on where they should go for the next holiday which sounded like it was just over a month away.
Sure, family holidays need to be planned, but they were already on one at a beautiful beach on a sunny day walking by the ocean with their kids.
That should be about as good as it gets.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t appreciate what they had because they were worrying about future entertainment.
I wrote that tale in a way that suggests I would never do anything like that… but of course I do.
I think we are all guilty of that kind of thing, and I suspect social networking and smart phones have only made the situation worse.
Being connected makes it easier to keep in touch with people so we can make plans to do something with them in the future, but when the time comes to do it, the communication devices can get in the way.
How often do we see people out on dates or in other social settings ignoring each other as they tap away planning another outing?
Like I said, it is a very good idea to make plans, but we shouldn’t do it all the time.
However, I do think it would be a good idea for all of us to plan on spending more of the future living in the present… and if we can do that, maybe more things will take care of themselves.