Almost all decisions will move us either forwards or backwards.
I’ve been thinking about this one on both a macro and a micro level. About how, on any given day, the things we do and say are either moving us closer to who we want to be, or further away.
It’s obvious when you think about the big life stuff: getting married (or not), moving into a new home, accepting a job offer, etc. — we generally spend a lot of time making these decisions because we know they’ll have a big impact on our future. And when we talk about the future (and even when we’re struggling to do so!), this is typically the kind of stuff we mention: I want to live _______, I want to be working at ________, I want to be a successful _______.
But I’ve been thinking about all the tiny daily decisions, too, and how those minor things — cumulatively — actually have an enormous impact on our future as well. So say, for example, that you hate going food shopping because it fills you with murderous rage and it’s the one errand that you put off for as long as possible. (Just a totally random scenario.) So you postpone it, again, and then you’re left searching the cupboards for something to cobble together for dinner and you end up with a plate of the following items: tuna; popcorn; week-old carrot sticks that are turning white; and three dill pickles. It’s … not satisfying.
And then in the morning — surprise! — you feel like garbage so you skip your morning workout and act like a raging bitch all day and then you leave work and you’re TOTALLY NOT IN THE MOOD FOR GROCERY SHOPPING NOW because I’m starving and I’ve had such a shitty day! I mean YOU. You have. For example.
And you can see how this starts a cycle that will really begin to piss off your future self unless you get it in check.
It’s the same thing with the people we choose to spend our time with, too. Do you say yes to that invite – just a quick drink, or a bite to eat – even if you’ve grown apart from this person and you generally don’t like who you turn into when you’re together? Or when you know it’s going to turn into a bitch-session or a gossip-fest? Do you become more nasty or more negative when you spend time in certain groups? Do the people at this party make you feel heavy or light? Do you fit in here? Do you want to?
These little decisions are going to have a HUGE impact on future you as well. How will I spend my afternoon? Who am I going to invite into my life today?
So when I think about the future, I’m trying to remember that it’s not just the big life stuff that matters, but it’s all those little choices too.
Is this moving me closer to becoming the person I want to be? Or is it pushing me further away?