Future > Present > Past

Future > Present > Past I'll let the title speak for itself.

A simple mathematical formula, right? Well, not really. It's probably one of the most difficult formulas humans attempt to follow. Yet, it has the potential to be the single most important philosophy for living a beautiful existence.

Let's break it down, shall we?


Yes, a past does shape the present and the future, but don't we have the ability to change our thinking, our philosophies, our ideals and, therefore, change our future and how we view those perceptions? I mean, if you want to stagnate for the rest of your life, work a dead-end job, and live for paying the rent on time, then by all means, who's stopping you?


You could be a dreamer. You could envision what you want out of life--your passions, your goals, your accomplishments--then do it. Nothing is really impossible. It might take some long-term commitment, but be honest with yourself. If you want it bad enough, will you put yourself out there in order to get it?


This might feel like the most important of the three, but...it's not. Don't get me wrong. It's important, but not as important as the future (which we will talk about in a few moments). It just feels this way because you're living it now. Sensory experience dominates our reality and, because of this, we disregard what has already happened and what will happen and usually live by one darn catchy catch-phrase:

YOLO = You Only Live Once

I get it. I get that you should enjoy what you have because we just don't know what the universe is throwing our way, but just like the past, the present can still dictate the future and how you perceive your reality moving forward.

Example: You find $10 while fishing through your dirty pants. You're now free to do whatever you please with it. In the moment, you're hungry, so all you can think about is this delicious beauty:

And guess what: It costs exactly $10! You're in luck, so you order it. Because you're hungry. And it will taste so wonderfully good on the taste buds. Each succulent bite is like a small piece of heaven rattling its way down your esophagus. You THOROUGHLY enjoy it.

But halfway through, your friend calls. There's a special at the movie theatre! If you buy an $8 ticket, you automatically receive a large popcorn and a large soda for $2. It's a $35 value for $10!

...but you have no money. You already spent it on that wonderful patty of meat. How do you feel about your decision now that you're full? Still think you made the right decision?

There are two options here:

1) Yes, no regrets! I made a decision and I'll stick with it. I was hungry. Like this guy:

I guess I'll just have to stay home and watch whatever's on TV.


2) I regret my decision. Was that burger really that important? Could I have eaten something at home and saved that $10 bill for something special? Now I'm stuck at home, feeling all burger-ed out because I couldn't control my appetite.

Yes, of course this is completely hypothetical (not that I haven't been caught with my hand in the cheeseburger jar one too many times before), but it makes sense. Although something might seem mediocre now, you might want to save that pent up energy for something incredible that's lurking just around the corner.


And that leads us to the grand finale of the R.T. Donlon mathematical equation of the day - the future!

What is more awe-inspiring, so blissfully fearful, so tantalizingly fragile than what the universe has in store for us? It's nerve-racking to think our lives could take so many different paths, which, in turn, could lead to endless, varying outcomes. Humans want security. We want to know that we will be safe from harm with the means to live a happy, fulfilling life. That's all.

Think of the future as the branches of a tree. Say for instance, this one:

Notice how the branches splay out in a million different directions? Some reach high into the sky. Some sprout vegetation and mini-branches. Others hang low to the ground, kind of routed by gravity to grow horizontally rather than vertically.

Are any of these branches bad? No! Sure, there might be some disadvantages to low-hanging branches (vulnerability, etc.), but that just makes them stronger, clasping to the trunk like some sort of behemoth. We are all from different, unique walks of life and we must acknowledge that life is naturally unfair, but I guarantee you, that if you will yourself to accomplish your goals, even when it seems that failure never surrenders, your branch will break away from the ground and reach toward the sky like so many others have before us. This life is all what you make of it and, fortunately or unfortunately, always will be.

Keep on keeping on, ladies and gentlemen! The Reaper Trials is out THIS Saturday, May 2nd, on the Lulu Marketplace (10% off), Amazon (Print) and Kindle, Barnes & Noble (Print) and Nook, iBooks, and other online distributors.