Whatever Age You Are Today, Your Future Self Would Love To Be It.
After three odd years of Covid induced social isolation, it was great to get with old friends and recall and relive experiences from bygone times.
As he was heading home in high spirits, one of the lads, Breifne Martin, handed him a sepia-coloured photo of a young lad sitting on what appeared to be the top pitch in Roscrea in glorious sunshine.
‘Who’s that,’ asked Reilly curiously.
‘That’s you, Reilly. I snapped it on Sports Day 1979, the year we did our Leaving Cert.
‘You’re joking Bref. That’s not me.’
It was still bright as Reilly nudged the car out through Friday evening traffic onto Appian Way.
He positioned the photo on the passenger seat and reflected on its identity.
A simple image of a carefree, devil-may-care young fella with a mop of long brown hair and a hideous-looking tartan Bay-City Rollers cap.
He’d been right about one thing when he told Bref ‘that’s not me.’ It clearly wasn’t.
Gone was the carefree-looking attitude.
Gone certainly was the long curly brown hair. And gone too thankfully was the cap that he used to wear on public occasions to attract a bit of attention.
Gone also was Reillys’ bonne humeur of the last few hours.
He allowed himself to descend into an ocean of self-piteous nostalgia for the past. Those halcyon days of radiant vitality, infinite opportunity, and joyful wonder.
He might even have allowed himself to ruin the entire weekend if he’d not been reminded of a great quote he’d stumbled upon during the week. It came from the pen of James Cleere, the author of the cracking book ‘Atomic Habits’ and it instantly transformed his state of mind.
‘Whatever age you are today, your future self would love to be it.
Most people do not consider 65 to be a young age… but when you’re 75, you’d love to rewind to 65 and regain those years.
Few people would describe 35 as your youth, but in your mid-50s your mid-30s will seem like the “young you.”
Today is a great opportunity, no matter your age.
Looking back in a few years, today will seem like the time when you were young and full of potential or the moment when you could have started early, or the turning point when you made a choice that benefited your future.
The moment in front of you right now is a good one. Make the most of it.’
Maith thú, a Sheamais.
• Clichéd and all as it sounds, today really is the first day of the rest of your life.
• And you have a choice. You can wallow nostalgically in the past or you can live mindfully grounded in the present moment.
‘The past is history. The future is a mystery. This moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present‘.’
‘The past is a mirage. A soft illusion into which we step in order to avoid the present.’
—Brian Friel. (In a story from ‘Exploring English’ which interestingly was published by Breifne’s Dad, Gus Martin.)
‘Someone with half your IQ is making 10x as you because they aren’t smart enough to doubt themselves.’
Writer and former heavyweight boxer, Ed Latimore, on outsmarting yourself:
1. Where do you spend most of your time? In the past or in the present or in the future?