By Graham "GSM" Matthews
“Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.” -Doc Brown
Being the massive "Back to the Future" fan, I had been looking forward to 2015 for quite some time, and by quite some time I mean several years. No, I did not expect us to get flying boards or legitimate hover boards this year. No, I wasn't getting my hopes up for a "Jaws 19." No, I wasn't putting my money on the Cubs to win the World Series (though there's still a chance of that happening...). I joked about all things happening, but my high anticipation for 2015 went far beyond that. To me, 2015 signaled the start of the future. Technically, you can never live in "the future," but metaphorically you can live in the past.
2015 is the start of something new. The beginning of every new year is the perfect time to start anew and set new year resolutions, but truth be told, you can do that at any point during the time. It just takes self-discipline to set them and, more importantly, follow through with it. But 2015 marks the future. It's important to learn from the past and live in the present, but the days of looking forward to the future are over, because it's here. How many times have you said to yourself, "Oh, I'll get to that in the future"? Well, the future is now!
To ensure you have a bright future, you have the acknowledge the past and learn from it. Yes, it's important to not live in the past; it's an issue that many people deal with. However, what's the worth in living in the past if you can't change it? Until time machines are invented, there is nothing you can possibly do to change what's already happened, so there's no use in worrying about it or dwelling on it. As the old saying goes, those that don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, so I'm not going to say that the past is irrelevant. Look to make your future, right now, better than your past by learning from your mistakes and experiences.
Although I say that the past isn't irrelevant, what happened yesterday essentially doesn't matter. The more focus you put on the past, the less focus you have on the future or what's happening right now. If you're too busy looking back, you'll be missing what's going on right in front of you. Some of the best times of your life are happening at this very second, and you know what? You're not going to be relive this same second again, so enjoy it while you can. Make the most of it and don't waste it.
And that brings me to the future. I've been claiming that "the future is now" since the start of the year, because it's true. I don't say that simply because it's the "future" according to "Back to the Future 2." I say that because I've never been more optimistic about what the future holds than I am right now. Perhaps I'm only speaking for myself since there's a lot of things I'm looking forward to this year, but it applies to everyone. Around this time one year ago when I was struggling to find things to get excited about, I came to the realization that there isn't a time in your life where there isn't something to look forward to. Whether it's Christmas, your birthday, the weekend or whatever, there is always something to keep you motivated to keep you moving forward.
When I think of the future, the first thing that comes to my mind are goals. I was one of those people many, many years ago who didn't set goals for myself because I figured there was no way I couldn't reach them if I didn't have any. My mindset changed as I got older. I'm not saying that's the wrong way to live, but it's not what I personally prefer. I'm the type of person who takes great pride in accomplishing a goal, even if it's something so simple or minuscule. Not everyone is like that, of course, it's pretty universal to feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach a goal.
It's discouraging to me sometimes to see people not setting goals for themselves or something to strive for in life. A lot of people question what the purpose of life is. I'm not going to even attempt to answer that here, but what I do know for a fact is that your life holds purpose, and you can make life worthwhile by striving for something and obtaining success and happiness. Don't wait for the "future" to set goals for yourself. The future is now, so don't wait another second to strive for greatness. It's never too early to set goals, regardless of how old you are. Live a life worth living by shooting for the stars.
Emmett "Doc" Brown had a great line at the end of "Back to the Future 3" that has resonated with me since the first time I heard it, and it's at the top of this post. Some people give up on life and give up trying to make something of their life because they automatically assume that they are going to be a failure in the future. As Doc says himself, none of the future is set in stone and you have the ability to determine what your future consists of. No matter what anyone says or does, you have control of your own future, and you have the ability to make it as great as you want to make it.
On the topic of "Back to the Future," I've often been asked a question that I now have no problem answering: "What would you do with a time machine?" Ironically enough, as much as I love that amazing trilogy of movies, I wouldn't use a time machine to change anything from my past, or change anything at all. I know, I sound like a fool for saying I wouldn't take advantage of a time machine, but when given time to think about it, I came to the realization that everything that's happened in my life, good or bad, has happened for a reason and it's why I am who I am today. I wouldn't change a single thing.
Granted, I may utilize a time machine to relive some moments from my lifetime, that would be pretty cool (as long as I don't run into myself and cause a paradox). But I wouldn't go too overboard with that because as I mentioned before, you shouldn't spend your entire life living in the past... and that can be taken both literally and figuratively. The time of waiting and waiting is over. With 2015 officially upon us, the future has arrived. It's your time to shine. Make today, your future, every bit as amazing as it's destined to be.
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