The Future…of Stress

This week’s topic for our seminar class is the future. I had a very hard time thinking of what I wanted to talk about with this because it is such a broad topic. It is also very difficult to do anything but speculate when dealing with this topic because we will never know for sure until it happens and is no longer “the future.” However, one thing that I think is true for a lot of us is that we can be afraid of the future, and so instead of talking about all the new devices and technology we *might* have, I would like to take some time and go over some ways to prepare for the future and how to overcome the stress that may come with it.

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First off, before we dive into this topic, I feel it may be appropriate to see what the Bible says in regards to the future. Probably the most recognized verse (to me at least) comes from Jeremiah 29:11, which states:  

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

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Other verses that tie in nicely to this topic come from Revelation 21:4, which talks about the coming of a new kingdom where there will be no sorrow, and James 4:13-16, which reminds us that we do not know the future and that we are here for such a short time. Overall, we are reminded that we shouldn’t worry about it and that everything will be ok. However, I am pretty sure you did not come here to just read bits and pieces of scripture, so let’s move on.

Something that I learned from my internship this past summer is to always look forward to the future. Whether it means installing a new audio system or a lighting rig (or really anything), always look to the future. It may seem like a hassle and may require a bit more money, but leaving room for improvement can save you a lot of headache down the road. This article I read while I was researching for this topic makes a good argument for this. Many, if not all, industries will not be the same in 10 years and many jobs we have now will be obsolete in 20 years. Trend watching and always thinking of possibilities to improve and trying to predict problems before they arise are crucial to being successful.

While this is a good way to prepare for the future, we all will feel the anxiety at some point in our life about the uncertainness of the future. This hits close to home for me since I am nearing the end of my college career and getting ready to head out into the real world…or at least outside of the “Greenville bubble.” I always like to try and think of all the different options that I know of when it comes to this uncertainty, but it is important to know that we never see all of the options. So many times I have thought that I had a good idea of where I was headed only to have something I didn’t account for throw me off. This can be very discouraging, but if we accept that it is bound to happen, it can be much less stressful.

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You may not be entirely sold, and I understand. Luckily, I have a few more tips to lessen the impact of stress from the future. Don’t let yourself become comfortable or, as this article puts it, concretize yourself. Avoid making yourself too stable and settling down where you are. Times are changing and will leave you behind if you can’t adapt with the times. Additionally, being able to roll with the punches and take life one step at a time is a great bit of advice. The phrase comes from boxing because going with the punch lessens the damage you receive. If you are familiar with conceptual physics, it is similar to how impulse works.

For me, I have been fortunate enough to come to terms with the uncertainty in my future and it has relieved a lot of stress and anxiety I used to experience. I didn’t want to spend time in this article talking about what we might have or not have in 10 years because it is all speculative. Instead, I wanted to write about something practical that has helped me in my life. While thinking about when we can purchase hover boards or have a robot do our job for us can be fun, stressing over what tomorrow brings is not. Hopefully you got something out of this and thanks for reading!

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