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Modern life so often feels like a slog, to be “gotten through” en route to some better time in future. The truth is that we collaborate with this state of affairs. We choose to treat time in this self-defeatingly instrumental way, and we do so because it helps us maintain the feeling of being in omnipotent control of our lives.As long as you believe that the real meaning of life lies somewhere off in the future – that one day all your efforts will pay off in a golden era of happiness, free of all problems – you get to avoid facing the unpalatable reality that your life isn’t leading toward some moment of truth that hasn’t yet arrived. Our obsession with extracting the greatest future value out of our time blinds us to the reality that, in fact, the moment of truth is always now – that life is nothing but a succession of present moments, culminating in death, and that you’ll probably never get to a point where you feel you have things in perfect working order. And that therefore you had better stop postponing the “real meaning” of your existence into the future, and throw yourself into life now.

Source: Oliver Burkeman: Four Thousand Weeks (2021).