When we aim for something new or different in our future, we create a duality, like we are living a double life.
Firstly, there is this life that we are living now, and secondly, the life we are living in the future. It is important to note that the present life is the most important, as all other lives are anchored here. From the present we remember the past, and from the present we imagine the future. Therefore, the past is no more real than the future.
The past is an image in our minds of how we perceive an earlier moment, while the future is also an image of how we perceive the future. Neither is especially “real” since they are like looking at a photograph. Yet we can still consider them to be “valid”, at least to us.
Both images can be manipulated by the mind in the present, yet if you were not a mind in this present moment (i.e. dead), both images would fall into oblivion. While events in the past may have happened without you around to now remember them, your personal experience of the past dies with you. And simultaneously, so does the future you imagine.
When you imagine a different future, you turn your gaze in that direction and aim yourself in the present, towards that future. The more details you are imagining, the more accurate your aim. By “acting as if”, you already have that future and you simply accelerate the path between these two lives.
However, in doing this, you can also deny the present moment, which in terms of your overall destiny is perfect. Focussing intently on a photograph of the future is no different to focussing on a photograph of your past. Either way, by doing that, you are no longer watching the road in front of you, noticing the setting sun, or feeling the touch of a friend.
To focus on the future entirely is to deny the experience of now. It means you are actively deleting the wonderful experience of the present from your future remembered past. You are actively deleting the people and experiences you are having now. And it also means that for now, you are living a fantasy created in the mind. You are not living a real life, but a trapping of the mind.
In cementing your path to this future, you remove yourself from other possibilities, from magical experiences, from other destinies that may have been yours. In fact, you remove yourself from the glory of the world that has always been there, if only you were looking.
If you must aim for a different life, take a look at that “photo” no more than once a day. The same way you would set your compass bearing on a distant mountain at the start of a day of trekking. Then walk towards that mountain, enjoying the flowers, the views, the stony paths, and your travelling companions on your way.
Do not miss out on living your real life in favour of a fantasy.