Personal Development

What You Have vs. What You Want: How to Win the Present and The Future

Nicah Caramba
Written by Nicah Caramba

As the day comes to an end, the fake smile plastered on your face starts to wear off.   You keep looking at the time, waiting for the day to be over. You imagine other places you’d rather be or other things you’d rather be doing.

It’s a cycle for you, and you can’t help but feel miserable. Each day you feel guilty for being like this because other people have told you to be grateful since the majority of the world are experiencing worse.

These thoughts run in your mind all day, and while you know they’re not exactly complaints, you’re itching for something more in life. There has to be more than this routine you’re almost sick of.

You want fulfillment.

Looking at your present situation, you can’t imagine doing what you’re not passionate about every day.

Seeing it as a drag won’t help either, right?

Think of right now and what you want to pursue. There are ways to be happy with what you have while pursuing what you want.

Look around you and be grateful for your blessings.

The moment you wake up in the morning, be thankful for another day and another opportunity to live your life. Instead of your habit of dreading the day, start doing the opposite and be grateful for at least one thing per day.

You can keep a journal, write on your blog, record an audio or a video, and you’ll be surprised with how blessed you truly are. Most of the time we take the things around us for granted and ignore their importance until they’re gone.

Appreciate everything that you have right now.

Stop comparing yourself to other people.

There it is again. Your best friend got promoted at work. Your classmates from high school are putting up businesses. Your exes are traveling the world, and you’re thinking, “Nothing has changed about me.”

Stop that right now.

Each of us is a work in progress, and are constantly changing.

We are never the exact person we were last year, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for not accomplishing the same thing as another person.

You see, we all have our own “time zones.” Just because somebody became CEO at 25, doesn’t mean we have to be. There are many factors at play in a person’s life, and what should matter is how we see ourselves.

I remember practicing a business pitch I had to do for a competition in school in front of my college professor.

While watching, he mentioned wishing he did things differently when he was younger.

Most older folks have that regret, but like I said earlier, we all have our own time zones.

If he did things differently, our paths would probably never cross.

I probably won’t have anyone to call, “a supportive teacher who genuinely cares about my success as a business student.”

If he did things differently, his support that continues to change the way I do things won’t be here today.

He probably wouldn’t be changing his students lives like he does in the present.

Be aware of your own successes. There’s no need to be someone else. Right now we are exactly where we need to be.

We are exactly who we need to be right now.

List down what you want out of life.

While being grateful and comfortable in your own skin and circumstances, list down what you want to achieve.

For example, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to study in a prestigious business school in the Philippines while running two offline businesses at the same time.

After thorough research and multiple contemplative occasions, I came to the conclusion that eventually, I want to run businesses online while I travel the world because it is where I find myself truly happy.

If you’re having a hard time, imagine that you’re on your death bed. What would you regret not doing?

Remember that most of the time, we regret the things we didn’t do rather than things we did.

The list is not there to make you feel bitter about your present situation, but you should see it as a stepping stone to where you plan to be.

Yes, I might be running offline businesses now, but while I’m building my online business, an offline business is still a business and I can learn a great deal from it that I can apply online, so I’m definitely still enjoying the process.

Make sure the list is specific so it won’t result to any confusion further down the road.

Work on that list progressively.

Whether it’s losing weight or saving up for a home, it’s impossible to finish a big, hairy, audacious goal right away.

But that’s what makes it even more special.

When something is given to you without you doing any hard work, it doesn’t have so much value.

You’ve probably heard that advice more than once, but admit it, it’s true.

We put more value to things that we invested our time and efforts in, and things that we watch develop.

Especially when it’s ourselves that we’re investing in.

So acknowledge each item on your list with its own individual importance and work your schedule based on your priorities.

It’s up to you whether you’re going to work on it daily, weekly, or even monthly, but there has to be progress.

Track your progress and use it as an inspiration to continue.

Tracking is relevant because it allows you to look back and see how much you’ve done. If you want to do the digital approach, there are apps online and social media that can help you with that.

If you want to do the traditional approach, you can write it down or maybe even scrapbook it.

From time to time, look back and see how far-or little- you’ve gone.

If you’re not happy with the results, adjustments should be made, which is why we’re tracking progress.

We don’t adjust our goals, but we adjust our approach and strategies to attain the goal.

You can even share the progress you’ve made with friends and family and listen to their input or suggestions.

Personally I have worksheets that I keep in a black clear book. I update it weekly, and use it as a basis on what I need to adjust.

Try it, and you’ll be amazed by how much more you’ll be motivated to go for what you want.

Feeling stuck sucks, but the good news is that it’s not permanent and you have the power to transform your current situation.

Wouldn’t it be incredible to come home smiling and scribble on your notes what you’ve done differently today?

As you look back, you’re astonished because you never thought you could possibly come this far.

A changed perspective mixed with an attitude of determination is the recipe to win the present and the future.

Take action right now. Your future self will thank you for it.

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About the author

Nicah Caramba

Nicah Caramba

Nicah Caramba is an entrepreneur who is passionate about public speaking and travel. Aside from chasing the next adventure, she is constantly looking for ways to help people communicate their ideas better in her blog todayimchanging.com!
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