If you’re anything like me, you probably spend most of the day thinking about the future—what job you’re going to have, how much money you’ll make, if your parents will be proud of you.
To be honest, I hate it. I hate that I do it and I hate that I can’t stop doing it. I want to focus on the present moment—to get “lost in the sauce” as you will.
I wonder if I will always be like this, if when I’m 50 I will be thinking about being 80, and when I’m 80 I’ll be thinking about my death. I probably will, but one sort of mental trick that I’ve learned to make it easier to be present is to acknowledge that all the adults in this world who look like they’ve got their shit together are just kids in their big-boy or big-girl clothes playing dress up.
In the same sort of way that kids play “house”, adults really just play “designer” or “entrepreneur” or “scientist”… it’s really no different: we play the role by both using information from what we’ve seen and using our own ideas and creativity to do with that information what we will.
A kid who watches their parents interact and move through life is absorbing information in the same sort of way that a businessman or designer is when they’re going to school or learning from mentors. It’s always been, and it always will be just a game of observe, understand, and repeat (with a little dash of your own personal flare, of course).
With that said, when it’s time to take action in our lives and start playing “designer” or “businessman”, all we’re doing is making stuff up based on what we think we should be doing, and once you realize we’re all just kind of winging it like this, you begin to fall into a state of ease—the present moment isn’t as difficult or anxiety-inducing as it once was, and thus becomes easier for you to be a part of.
Once you acknowledge that everyone around you is just playing “house”, so to speak, you can begin to ask yourself, “how am I going to play house?” and now that you don’t have to worry about how you will be perceived (because who cares about what other people think of you when they’re just making it up the same as you are) you can start to have a little fun while you’re playing.
Playing the game in a fun way ultimately means to play it in a way that’s true to yourself. The number one thing to bring to any situation is authenticity; sometimes we as humans get too lost in playing the game the way that we saw it being played because in a way that seems safer than making stuff up. When recognizing, however, that the people you learned from were just making it all up, it opens up the opportunity and the sense of safety for you to simply make stuff up as well.
Start riffing with your life! Jam out the way only you know how! Accept this notion of making stuff up and become excited to see yourself make up new stuff rather than copying the pre-existing things that you had observed.
Recognizing this and absorbing this mentality will help you become excited to fail, push for new hopes, and invent yourself anew!