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Why not outsource some of those difficult things, such as financial planning, goal setting and sowing seeds for the future to an expert? 

Article by Akwasi Duodu

Plan for the future whilst living in the present

Planning ahead whilst living in the present must be one of life’s toughest balancing acts. How do you simultaneously plan ahead whilst living in the present? We are constantly bombarded with how important these things are individually, yet, if you had to focus on only one of these things, your life might get totally messed up. Doing both at the same time may become confusing and overwhelming.

Financial planning is so important if you desire a financially independent retirement, are looking to send your children to private school, or have other plans such as home improvements.

Why it is important to live in the present

Stress, unhappiness, and worry can occur when our lives become dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to either the past or potential future. Life could pass you by if you spent your time worrying unnecessarily about what may or may not happen. Equally, dwelling on the past, good or bad could cause discontentment with our current circumstances. Because of this, it is important to learn to live in the present.

Abraham Maslow once said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” He continued, “Only the present is real and only in the present moment can you achieve true happiness, peace, and joy, all of which are key for your mental wellbeing.” But does this mean we shouldn’t plan for the future?

Why it is important to plan for the future

Whilst it’s important to live and enjoy the now, making plans for the future is essential in today’s real world. Worry is a natural state of mind and whilst some of us are better than others at managing it, making good decisions for the future can help alleviate some unpredictability that causes unnecessary worry.

Farmers sow seeds today in the hope that one day those seeds will mature and bear fruit. And they do bear fruit. The evidence is everywhere. Life works in much the same way. Making plans today that will bear fruit tomorrow will do two things for you.

1; Those plans will make you worry less about the future because you have the future covered and 2; those plans will give you confidence about the present, because, ironically, planning for the future is a wise way to use the present! So it is possible to plan ahead whilst living in the present.

How to do both

This may surprise you coming from a financial adviser, but for me, when it comes to the two polarities mentioned above, living in the present is the most important. That is because the NOW is all we really have. The future may or may not be and the past is gone. So, the present is where our focus should be.

But like the farmer, we should keep an eye on the future.  One of the best ways to achieve this when it comes to your finances is to seek financial advice. That way, you can outsource some of those things most people find difficult such as planning, goal setting and sowing seeds for the future to an expert.

Planning for the different financial life stages is so important, and all you’ll need after engaging a financial adviser is an hour or two per year dedicated to planning for your future and ensuring that you’re on track. Your financial adviser will make sure you set the time aside to do that. You can then spend your precious time doing what you love and enjoying life in the now.

Plan ahead whilst living in the present. The future depends on what you do today. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today however is a gift. That’s why we call it the present. Now where I have heard that said before?

Related reading

Enjoyed this article? If so, here are a couple of other articles to read on the topic of financial planning:


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