When we think of the upheavals that take place in history, we often have in mind the idea of revolution or coup d’état. In itself, if we want a big change from the left, we will imagine a form of revolution, while if we want a takeover from the right, we will think more of a coup d’état. And if the real change was actually happening every day, without us really paying attention.
A revolution or a coup d’état is quite rare, considering the history and the stability of the regimes that have succeeded each other.
Real change happens every moment, before our eyes, but since it is so small, we don’t notice it. This is also true when we want to transform our lives. It is not always by taking a radical decision that one changes in depth, it is only by applying a cumulative effect of infinitesimal efforts that one can generally change a destiny that the conditioning had announced as all mapped out.
The neglect of present efforts
Since effort is made on a given day and immediate results do not appear, many of us become discouraged and say to ourselves “what’s the point”. Our short-term expectations tend to be overestimated while our long-term results are often underestimated. This distortion of perception can lead us to make bad decisions. There are essentially several needs that condition us. Each of them has a different relationship to time and sometimes acts as a cognitive bias. For example, when you are hungry or thirsty, you may act more impulsively and not make the best decision at a given moment.
Let’s analyze the different levels of need and their relationship to time
Breathing: the best of us can go several minutes without breathing. The vast majority of the population finds it difficult to go more than a minute without breathing air. This air which is present in abundance is in fact what makes our existence possible at every moment. Air is the element that considerably reduces our relationship with time when we lack it. The first signs of lack appear after a few seconds, which makes our brain stop thinking about anything else beyond this short duration.
Staying hydrated: It is difficult to survive several days without drinking. Lack of water limits our report to a few days. The first signs of lack appear after a few hours, which makes our brain stop thinking about anything else beyond this short duration.
Eating: Depriving ourselves completely of food can produce a few weeks at most. The first signs of withdrawal appear after a few tens of hours, which makes our brain stop thinking about anything else beyond this short duration.
Shelter from the cold and bad weather: It only takes one night spent in the cold to die. The cold, when it catches us in its nets, obsesses us after a few hours.
To be valued: It is difficult to say if one can die for lack of love. What can be said, however, is that to take away this essential ingredient of life makes it lose all its meaning. The lack of love can hardly hold us beyond a decade.
To have a meaning, a direction in one’s life, to realize oneself: The loss of meaning can also be a bearable few decades.
By haste or lack of direction, we are reduced to making choices that irreversibly change the trajectory of a life.
The importance of having a 25-year vision or more
If uncertainty and lack of clarity can characterize our decisions, it is primarily because we do not have a clear picture of what we want to do, be and think in the future. Therefore, the person who has a detailed idea of the life he or she envisions in the distant future will have an advantage over others because they lack this image most of the time.
This is why you need to do the following exercise. Imagine that you are 25 years from now. Try to answer each of these questions accurately:
Where will you live? In what country? In which city? What kind of house will you live in?
What language will you speak on a daily basis?
What job will you do?
What kind of lifestyle will you have?
What will your hobbies be?
What will your typical day look like?
What will people say about you?
What will be the most important relationships in your life?
What brings you the most joy on a daily basis?
What are your most important accomplishments?
How will you have changed the world in your own way?
An additional question that can help you clarify your choices today:
What would you do if money was no longer a concern (that you received the salary you already receive today without working)? What job would you do?
What would you change in your life right now?
Now imagine that you are dead. What would you like people to say about you at your funeral?
Now, if you are a believer, imagine that you meet God after you have taken your last breath. What would you like him to say to you?
If you were to die today, what would you tell God? What do you feel guilty about? What do you regret that you were able to change in your life?
Imagine that God gave you one year to come back to life and change the things you regret most. What would you change immediately?