The little big drop: the present of today.
“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”
Are we overestimating the power of a decade?
Are we underestimating the power of today?
Are we dropping our whole life into a holy deal?
I have a secret I want to share. I am writing something on the first page of each new journal book.
The first line is the following: “Change the World from the top in 2025!”
Don’t ask me what I will do to achieve that in 2025.
I have no clue. Is it at the beginning, the middle, or the end of 25?
When talking about the top, which flight level am I referring to?
I have no damn idea.
I have spent most of my time building a plan of what I should achieve and when. I have always dreamed big. As far as I remember, the sky has always been my limit.
Looking back, I cannot pinpoint those pivotal moments when there was a significant change in my life.
Well, that is not entirely true. I moved to France in 2000. I started working in 2008. I got married in 2017. I have been a father twice: in 2019 and 2021.
Those moments are just that: a blink of an eye in the scale of the universe.
All the significant achievements in my life are not like that clean target that I hit with a sniper bullet. I might fantasize looking back, but they were not defined by a single moment of before and after.
I have discussed with some friends and acquaintances who can pinpoint the moment their life changed.
“I was abroad doing my studies. I am from India. It was a split of seconds. That moment the gun was licking my front head was a defining moment.”
I am paraphrasing a story from a friend that I call Sash.
After that, he never saw life the same way.
I am average when it comes to setting big, bold goals. In Engineering school, I was intermediate with my marks compared to other students. As far as I remember, I always went with the flow and never really looked to the future as sure that it would yield something big for me.
So it is ironic to remind me that I would change the world from the top in 2025. In 2017, I started the journey I am on today. Slowly yet surely, I shifted from setting goals to building systems.
Life is a present, and systems are the tool to harvest it.
Like most of us, I have been a victim of the goals-setting fallacy. I would pride myself on setting big goals. Then I would find satisfaction in just that: goal setting. I would never break down these goals into small steps I could walk every day.
I consistently overestimated what I could do in a decade. I consistently underestimated what I could accomplish in a day.
As I was reading, learning, and applying, I shifted my days from just “wanting” to “doing.” The more I read, the more I realized there is power in what I can accomplish in a day.
I look at my days before 2017. I would spend most of it just wandering around. I have not always been that person that wanted to master the day. I was more of a wishful-thinking person. Maybe that are some artifacts of being a Muslim where I was expecting Providence to land on my lap just by praying and doing nothing else.
On top of that, I was not really on the action side. I was like a spectator watching the movie of my life. I was just yelling at the character that he should do this or that.
Inshallah! It will happen like a kind of magic!
“Inshallah” is a term that we often use in Senegal at the end of a sentence. It translates from Arabic to “If God wants.”
Sometimes I could imagine myself in a plane. Then the pilots and everybody else in the plane fainted. I am the only one left to pilot the aircraft. I go to the cockpit and manage to contact the control tower.
They would ask me: “Do you know how to land the plane, Sir?” To what, I would reply: “Absolutely not!” The woman on the radio would tell me: “Let me tell you how to proceed then, Sir.” “Don’t worry, Madam. Inshallah, I will land the plane!” seconds before I crash it into the mountains on that foggy day of 2100.
Most of us are inshallah addicted in Senegal and many other places on Earth. There is no way that things can magically happen only through wishful thinking. There needs to be some change in the entropy of the universe. And that change has to be activated through some kind of deliberate and systematic work.
The power of our day.
I have realized how I live each day is how my life will unfold. I can have all the best intentions in mind for myself, my children, and the world. Yet as long as I am not acting on it consistently daily, there is no way to create my luck.
Yes, luck is like lightning. It can strike each of us potentially. But hopefully, the odds are not in our favor for that case.
I moved from saying what I will do in 10 years to what I will do this week, this day, and this morning or this afternoon. I am not trying to achieve big things every day. I am just building small habits every single day. I am planting a seed every odd day. I water it every even day.
By focusing on building systems, I am acting every single day. Each day, I journal twice. Each week I write an article. Each month I produce one video.
Each day, I spend two hours at least with my children with my full attention and intention. I am trying to 10x that time during weekends and holidays.
I will do the math in 10 years, and I am sure that I will be surprised in a good way by my physical and emotional results. I am harnessing the power of the present. I have some vague goals. I have some daily objectives of presence, perseverance, and resilience. I am a fervent believer in the power of small daily steps. I might do some jumps of faith now and then. But most of the time, I prefer daily actions to shiny intentions.
I act now by default. Inshallah, I will have some results in the far distant future. If the future comes to me empty-handed, at least I have harvested the present of my day. I have harnessed the power of this present day.
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You can read my previous article on How to come up with genuine content to share with the world? (Friendly link)