“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” – Marcus Aurelius
Two stoic-related ideas have stuck with me over the years, and they are:
- You suffer more from your imagination than reality
- Your future self is more prepared for your future challenges than you think in the moment
The quote in the title has been particularly helpful in reminding me that the future is non guaranteed – our thoughts and feelings about it are always merely speculation and imagination, even if based in reality – and that our future selves are prepared for it just as we have adapted and are prepared to meet our present challenges.
We have too little faith in our future selves; as time passes, we also grow, improve, and strengthen ourselves. And when (if) it comes time to meet our future, we trust that we have the same innate resilience and adaptability to live that time meaningfully.
And before then, we focus on improving ourselves in the present.