That’s a difficult thing to do. Mainly because we like to know what’s up ahead. Humans like to predict what is going to happen in the future in order to prepare for any mishaps or unfortunate events. It’s probably one of the reasons we developed a relatively large brain compared to other animals.
The problem with constantly trying to predict the future is that you start to live there. Not only that, you will obsessively and compulsively revisit your prediction in order to take into account new information. Sometimes (maybe most of the time…) you don’t even have new information to take into account. Yet, you’ll still try to revisit your idea about what might happen in the future. Just in case you missed something the first thousand times you went through all the possible scenarios. This is of course completely futile.
The world is mostly an unpredictable place. Luck plays a large role in how things will turn out, and in most cases you will have no control over the outcome. That is not to say that you’re completely powerless. It’s just that whatever power you do have is spent pretty quickly. The rest of the time you’re simply carrying out the pointless exercise of trying to come up with all the possible combinations of events that may or may not be realized.
Is it possible to look at your life situation, assess it carefully a few times, take the required action (s) and simply let it go? I don’t know. I can’t do it. I’m not sure many people can. The question then is how can we live fulfilling lives when ambiguity about our future seems to always linger in the background?
Maybe the answer comes with age. It could be that “wisdom” is the ability to simply accept our limitations and move on without much regard to the future. Not in the sense that we stop caring about what happens, but accepting that whatever does happen will inevitably happen.
This is a hard pill to swallow when you’re young. It seems like accepting the future, whatever it may be is an act of treason to your future self. It looks like treason because the act of acceptance looks similar to that of surrender to the world. As though you’ve decided to stop fighting for a better future.
Or, it could be that accepting the future will grant you the right to simply be happy with the present. Acceptance of the ambiguous future could enable you to become less fearful. More connected with life and its constant flux of events. It’s a cliché, but letting go might actually give you the power to see the future more clearly. When you let go of trying to predict reality, you might give yourself a chance to see reality.
I think letting go of the future and accepting life’s ambiguity is difficult because it requires courage. And courage is something that elusive. It’s not easy to cultivate something that is so rare. I feel like being courageous requires some sort of confidence. Not the kind where the person can be sure of what is going to happen, but rather the kind that goes deep inside a person’s being. A confidence about who you are and what you are here for. If you know who you are and what your life calling is, then externalities will not affect you. Whatever the future may hold is then not really relevant to you.
The outcome of events do not bother you because you have already discovered who you are and accepted yourself fully. Once you reach this level of self-understanding then life becomes simply a fascinating journey. You’re not worried about the future because whatever it might be, it will simply be interesting to you. Failing at becoming successful in the world seizes to be a problem because you have nothing to prove. You already know you’re “good enough”.
The future in some sense becomes a non-existent concept. You simply live to see what life is all about. Life to you becomes an adventure to be enjoyed, with many challenges, twists and turns. And while you’re enjoying the ride, you know it’ll end. And you’re fine with that.
Because after all, it’s just a ride.