Will It Matter in 5 Years?

I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no.
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Today at work I walked by someone's desk and noticed they had the famous quote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," by John Lennon hanging up in their cubicle. I've seen this quote so many times but the meaning of it really struck me today. Every day we keep searching for something new, something better -- and then one day it will hit us that through all of this time we've been searching, have we taught ourselves to overlook what we've had all along?

On a day-to-day basis, I change my mind about what I want to do with my life. They're usually completely irrational decisions, like I'll fly to Switzerland and just live there for a few years; maybe I'll go to graduate school in some random state in the middle of the country; or why not just take up photography and move to California? At this point I don't think my parents would be surprised if I came home and told them I planned to be an astronaut by next fall. I have begun to call these my ever-changing "daily decisions." But if you think about it, why do we feel the need to be constantly moving on to new things? After all, new things certainly don't always mean better. I guess no one really knows where they will end up, but someday in the future we are all going to end up exactly where we are supposed to be. So why stress about how we get there?

One way to not stress is to take a look at just how lucky you are to be you and be mindful of what you consider a problem. One of my favorite quotes is by Regina Brett and explains, "If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back."

If you look at your life and compare it to most others, you would find it hard to even begin to complain. I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no. I think that a lot of people give themselves way too many things to worry about when half of those worries really shouldn't matter at all. Sometimes, the answer will be yes, and this helps you to understand that whatever it is you're upset about is clearly important and deserves to be well thought through. Yes, we get upset, but taking a step back and looking at a problem on a bigger scale can help you realize that there are only a few things that really do matter.

So, next time you're busy thinking about what to do with your life and thinking about your goals, don't forget that your life is happening right now! Who am I to wish for a better tomorrow when today is perfectly beautiful and I haven't even stopped to be grateful for that? I know it can be hard to wake up and think, "Wow, I'm so grateful for another day!" If you're anything like me, your morning consists more of pushing snooze seven times, rolling out of bed and making a large cup of coffee. But in reality (after you have your coffee), if you take a moment, just one moment, to stop thinking about what you could do, where you could work, what you could have and start to think about how far you have come and everything that you are so fortunate to have, you will realize that no matter how far away your hopes and dreams may seem, where you're at right now is the perfect place to begin.

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