A couple of years ago, someone told me “David, for you, the present doesn’t exist. You are always either in the past or in the future”. With the massive success of the film “Demain” and a recent conversation I had with a start-up, Littlefood, who’s slogan is “Tomorrow is good”, I wanted to write a blog which provokes us to think about where we want to be, in the present or in the future?
The problem with the past and the future
While hiking in the Alps, near Annecy in the south of France, my friend Jef told me about a book he thought I should read called “The power of the now” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Now . I have never read a spiritual book in my life and the thoughts of reading it didn’t enthuse me. A few weeks later, a book arrived in the post called “Practicing the Power of the now”. It was much shorter, captured all of the key concepts of the other book and had tips on how to practice. If I buy a washing machine, I plug it in, turn it on and if it doesn’t work, I’ll look for the manual. In other words, I hate theory and love practice. There are a few basic concepts:
- There are 2 you’s: the real “you” and the “you” which has been created as a result of the things you have done in your life. The ” you” which is perceived by everyone else. When I was working for large companies, wearing a suit, flying around the world, feeling important (at times…), this wasn’t really me which is why I wasn’t very happy doing it. Understanding the difference between who you are and the person which other people perceive is crucial if you want to change. I love this little story of Martin, one of the people I am working with in my new “life”. It’s in French, but a great story
- The second key concept is that all stress is in the past or on the future. When you think about the things which are bothering you, they are often related to analysing something which has happened in the past or worrying about something which may happen in the future. Without getting too philosophical about this, in many cases, the problem isn’t really a problem. Either it is something in the past which cannot be changed or something in the future which may not happen. Bottom-line; If you want to reduce stress in your life, spend more time in the present.
Is tomorrow really good?
I happen to think it will be, though I am not worried about it. When I asked my friends at Littlefood, why they choose that slogan, it was essentially for the same reasons as the film “Demain”. Littlefood grow and sell insects for consumption. 80% of people on the planet eat insects. I just watched a program last night on how this industry is growing in Bangkok and they have been eating insects there for a long time. The message is that we need an alternative to meat if we want to sustain a growing population of people with less resources in a way which sustains the planet rather than destroys it. If you start eating insects tomorrow will be good!
I haven’t seen the film “demain” yet but I know I would love it. For the last 2 years, I have been working with start-ups in Belgium, such as Littlefood or Martin in the video, who all believe that it is not too late to change and are actively doing something about it rather than thinking “We are all screwed”. I’m surrounded by inspiration every day so can completely understand the attraction of this film
So what about today?
If you think that change is something which is only happening elsewhere or will happen in the future, you are wrong. It is happening today in Belgium and probably where you are too. I have lots of examples of it such as the recent launch of SenseCube in Brussels http://www.sensecube.cc/fr/bruxelles/
It is why I launched Economy2dot0 to begin with. It wasn’t because I thought we needed a new economy, it was because I could see a new one already emerging and just wanted to tell people about it and help them understand it.
I would also like to reassure you, the reader, that being part of this change doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to throw your old life (current life) out the window and go and life in a commune where you grow your own food, use green electricity and not have any money. We are in a transition. Some people may want to completely change their lives and do so in a radical way. I choose a different route as I realise that change is a journey, not a destination and you need to give yourself the time to adapt.
Yesterday is over. Today is good. Tomorrow will be even better.