We do not live in the future, we do not dwell in the past and make it our spiritual practice to live in the present.
So what does “living in the present” provide that planning for the future does not?
And as a parent, I get asked more times than I wish to admit:
Aren’t you worried about your son’s future? Aren’t you worried about how he will make a living, what career he might have, how you are preparing him for adulthood? Aren’t you worried he’s missing out on potential opportunities, potential skills, potential successes?
I don’t want to give in to the idea that those things can only be accomplished through conventional lifestyles or conventional education. Furthermore, I think it’s time, as a culture we stopped focussing on our children’s futures and started valuing their current state of being, including cultivating their individual interests and passions now. That creates a certain happiness in the moment, and it’s the best habit to be in; empowerment to create one’s own life experience, now.
If the primary focus in one’s life is to “prepare for the future”, then I believe the emphasis is taken off living the present moment. I think that’s a truly harmful habit for any person, child or adult and this sort or focus creates a pattern that is difficult to break as an adult.
So a better approach, in my opinion, is measuring success by the degree of happiness and enjoyment, now.
Each moment of now becomes the future.
And if each moment of now is seeded with empowerment and focus on the joyful experiences one wishes to have, then I am preparing my son for success: a future of happiness.
If we as a culture, decide it’s time it’s time we stopped judging successful parenting based on how a child turns out, measured by their academic achievements, earning potential or career, and possessions and started measuring the ability to create happiness in the moment under any situation and truly enjoy their lives, then I would strive for that.
And do I measure my son’s success by what he does? No. I consider doing less important that “being”. And the only preference I have for being, being in the moment, being present with, is being in one’s own self-created happiness.
I find our measure of success in each moment of now.