I light my cigar, one of the few remaining from the batch I brought back from a recent trip to Argentina, and take a sip of cognac. It’s been a long week in hours worked but it seemed like it lasted only a few days. I had my head down all week, working, writing, and now it was time to sit back, smoke a cigar, drink a little, and chat with my pal sitting next to me who’s in town for a few days visiting. (Read this: 5 Things Making Life a Bit More Enjoyable)
There’s a lot I’m working toward right now, and thus, a lot I’m looking forward to; be they projects I’m near finishing or moves I’m about to embark upon, they’re exciting, some are even a tad frightening, but to spend even a minute lamenting about what has yet to come is both futile and counter-productive.
Rewind a few months and I’m wrapping up a trip in South America. I’m in Argentina, and having spent a couple months in the country, learning its history, I became especially fond of one of its greatest creations: the Dogo Argentino.
It’s a fine dog, bred to hunt big game, possessing power and speed and stamina in a combination not found in most – if any – other breeds. I’d met a few, pet a few, and had the shit scared out of me by a few, logically the next step was to buy one. Toward the end of the trip I met with a breeder who took great care of his pups and put my name in the hat for the next litter that was due.
Having to pass a physical and spend 3 months in its native country it’s been a long wait for the pup that’s still 5 or so weeks away from arriving. It’s this pup, more than any project, more than a big move and change in location, that has taken up most of my energy, that has taken my mind out of the present and into what will be and how it will be, and that’s something I need to stop doing.
Yes, it sounds funny. I’m more excited about a dog than a new Province I’m moving to or the massive amount of work I’ve been doing on this site that’s going to be finished within the next couple of months. A puppy. I mean…
It’s this four legged beast that’s brought my thoughts out of the present too often, and it wasn’t until the conversation began, aided in part by cognac and cigars, that I realized just how detrimental it is, and just how stupid it is.
It’s important to have goals and dreams, actually, it’s vital.
If you don’t have a direction in life, and if it’s not an audacious mission you’re embarking upon, you can work your hardest yet go nowhere or become nothing of true value because you lack a specific purpose.
A direction is everything. An unrealistic, audacious direction in life is even better.
But when we spend our time thinking of, dreaming of, or living in the future when that grand mission will be accomplished (or that puppy finally arrives), we spend less time hustling, working, and doing the things that will get us to where we want to go.
We become less effective.
This isn’t any new knowledge. Every human on the planet seems to have an idea that being in the present is important, yet so few of us are ever truly present. It takes practice and awareness to be in a moment, and in a society with more distraction than ever this “being in the present” is becoming evermore infrequent.
We flip through magazines and Facebooks and Instagrams looking at images of the things we want or the people we want to become or finding images of what our dog may look like and be like when he’s grown (yes, that last one is something I’m guilty of).
We create dream boards, essentially envying things that others have or have created. What we don’t do is act. What we don’t do is focus. What we don’t take are the necessary steps, the ACTIONS needed to be in this place that we seem to long for so ferociously. (Read this: Time is Limited. Take Action)
And so yet another battle begins; to reign in my mind as it begins to wander into that future that is dependent on my actions in the present.
It’s a battle I’m more than willing to fight, and one I suggest you fight as well.