“Will I have enough money, once I have retired?”

“What if I won’t find a job after university?”

“What if I don’t find someone who wants to marry me?”

Three different questions. Two words to describe them.

Future anxiety

Every time we don’t know something about the future our brain tries to build a scenario which should describe what will happen. And when you think the way I do, this scenario could involve the following:

Failure, fear and loss

As a result, we get stuck in negative emotions, because sometimes we struggle to believe in ourselves. Because we try to overthink everything and imagine how every situation will end. An example of myself: My future anxiety is about dropping out of work, without having a steady source of income. At this point, I don’t have to mention that it scares the hell out of me what others will think. But there is something I fear even more: Me doing a job I hate, just to be able to afford life. And because of my need to afford life I get stuck in this job for the rest of my life. I fear this situation, because I don’t want to spend my whole life working for the fulfillment of the dreams of others. But also, because I don’t want to be a hostage of material possessions.

Scary prospects

As you can imagine, in such a moment I don’t think rational, but nevertheless it feels real. It feels so real, because I go crazy about this in my mind. The problem here is, that I try to consider a billion different things. From which most of them, according to my assumptions, will end in a negative way. In addition, I try to put everything I know (and I don’t know) into a quotation and solve it. But I make a mistake: most imagined situations won’t happen in reality. Even worse: I assume results of future situations, although I have no idea, if they will happen at all.

Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

Exactly! It sounds so silly, because it is so silly. Who of us knows, what happens next? Even, if we have created a plan, we can’t now what happens next. We can’t know if everything works according to this plan. Actually, we do know the opposite:  there are things which don’t work according to a plan. Things, we can’t influence. For example, a few weeks ago, I attended an Instameet in Stuttgart and met a beautiful and stunning girl. Totally random. I found someone, who shares more than just a few similarities, but rather the same mindset with me. Out of nowhere. Neither I went there with the intention to meet a girl, nor I was on the search for someone, who is thinking the way I think. Still, I found both combined.

I had a different “plan”

And now, my life has changed. This is a perfect example, how life can change extremely quickly. An example how some of our future plans can get busted within the blink of an eye. Because of situations like this, we shouldn’t go crazy about defining our future. Although it is good to have short- and long-term goals, in my opinion, it is more important to be flexible enough to adjust your life the way you want, when something changes.

Don’t start to think like a computer, trying to calculate every occasion in advance. This makes us inhuman, cold and unhappy. Cold and inhuman because we will lose the ability to enjoy beautiful moments. And unhappy, because more times than not, we will be wrong with our calculations. Instead, we should try to give our life a direction. A direction that can involve different ways of life, while still pursuing something meaningful.

Don’t worry about your future

We don’t have to worry about our future. If we are enjoying the moments in the present, while we work towards our future goals, we have to fear nothing. Even, when we don’t feel confident at first. Even, when we struggle from time to time. And even, when something changes along the way.

With worrying, we become narrow-minded

This means that we will miss some great opportunities just because we don’t recognize them. Even worse, our narrow-mindedness will prevent us from creating new opportunities, meeting new persons and seeing the chance in change. With fearing (unknown) future happenings, we put a limit on the things we can achieve.

Now, what is the way to follow?

For me, right now, the best way is having short- and long-term goals, while still being flexible in my mind. I know that, when I am open-minded, I can solve any problem. Even these, that haven’t had a solution yet.