Most of us contemplate the future in some way, although some of us do try to avoid thinking past the present moment as much as possible. Living life one day at a time is a good philosophy to have, but you should also consider what you want out of life in the next weeks, months or years and have some kind of general plan. If you are ambitious and have long-term plans, setting goals will help you to shape the future for yourself and others. There are a variety ways you can think about the future if you want to make a difference, whether it’s just for you or you want to have a broader influence.

Be The Change

One way to consider the future and how you would like it to look is to think how you can have a positive effect on the world in general. The majority of people want live useful lives, whether they’re positively influencing the people around them, helping their community, or even having a global effect. What would you like to see change, and how can you play your part to make it happen?

Maybe you want to improve education in your local community, in which case you could help by volunteering, setting up a reading program or creating a book exchange. Perhaps you would like to see local people have better access to cheap, freshly grown food, in which case you could set up a community gardening project. You get the idea.

Look Beyond Your Natural Life

When you think about what you want to do with your life, you probably consider the effect you want to have on the world while you’re alive, but another interesting thing to think is to how you could have an influence even once your life has ended. Human Paragon talks about this in terms of cryogenics, and the possibility that you might be able to one day revive yourself. However, you don’t have to think about it in those terms. You might also consider it in terms of your legacy. This could mean your children and how you’ve raised them, or it could relate to things you’ve done that continue to have positive effects once you’ve gone.

Stop Thinking About the Future (Too Much)

If thinking about the future too much gets you down, stop thinking about it. Paradoxically spending too much time thinking about what you want the future to look like can get you down. If it feels like there’s so much pressure to do something valuable with your life, and you’re already busy worrying about both the past and what’s happening in the present set thoughts of the future aside. If it all gets to be too much, you can try to limit how much time you spend trying to plan for the future. Plan for today instead or focus on the things you have control over. You can still think about the future but try to consider more concrete goals instead of worrying about things you probably can’t change. You can only do so much to affect what is going to happen tomorrow.

Thinking about the future can be frightening, but you can consider the positive effect you might be able to have. Whether you focus on yourself the wider world you can think about how to make a difference.