No Future

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The type of people I see everyday but have never fully understood are the ones who are content to stay where they are in life. They seem devoid of any ambitions or goals for the future and are happy to live in the moment even if it means sitting bored everyday or working a dead-end job for minimum wage.

I’m not trying to belittle anybody here, everyone should live their life as they feel they should, I simply am trying to understand the mind’s workings within an individual who approaches life like this.

The Future?

Do these people just not think about the future? Like, at all? Or is it more that they don’t think past a week into the future so big goals are never set? I think about the future everyday, multiple times. I’m always thinking about how my life might be 10, 20, 30 years and even further down the line. I see a financially secure, happy, productive and interesting future, as that is my ambition for life, at least in 10-20 year or so.

But what about when I finally get to that job(s), have a nice house, no debt, do things I enjoy everyday etc etc and someone who wants to keep climbing the financial, happiness and social ladder sees me as the guy with no ambition in life because I stopped? Is it a spectrum and not a category you can slap someone into? Would that make me want to keep going to surpass or rival them?

What would be the point in continuing to rise, just to die at age 80 having wasted life jumping through hoops to reach this supposed “happiness”? Wouldn’t the guy going “nowhere in life” have had more time doing what he wanted and not exhausting himself until he dies?

What if the guy going nowhere is ironically going somewhere in terms of being happy and content, and the people with ambition are cursed with wanting more and more in life because humans are generally greedy? Going by that though, that would mean that the people going nowhere DO want more, but maybe they suppress it? Or maybe they learn to be happy with what they’ve got?

The Cause

Are some people born this way or do we learn this from growing up? Could it be a mix of both?

Is intelligence a factor in this? This is a critical question as intellect is what usually gets the ambitious forward in education and careers, but not always. Creativeness, effort and skill also play a part amongst other things as well. There is actually too many factors to categorise people within. There is also plenty of examples of intelligent people who don’t pursue anything greater than a dead-end job and watch TV in-between shifts.

I guess intelligence doesn’t correlate with ambition too well, unless a study shows otherwise that I don’t know about. I guess it would be logical to say that a high intelligence would provide more opportunities for the individual but that it doesn’t inherently decide whether the person takes these opportunities.

Could it be personality based? Some would say personality isn’t even something that exists, that it’s just people’s perceptions of you based on your actions and words. I suppose certain personality traits could be the cause. Some people are just apathetic to embracing life’s opportunities, while simply enjoying the opportunity of doing nothing.

Maybe I’ll never understand the inner working’s of such an individual’s mind, I worry too much to sit idly and do nothing everyday, even during Summer holidays I feel guilty and my self-worth goes down if I don’t do anything useful for more than a couple of weeks.

Once again I’ll stress that this isn’t meant to come across as condescending or critical of people’s life choices. It’s your life, do whatever you want, I’m just trying my best to understand your world view as we’re all so different psychologically.

– Jamie


Featured Image: ©Susana Fernandez