Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


What can you do now?

It’s natural to worry about the future, or regret the past. Some might even say it’s evolutionary. But what if evolution is getting in the way of your success and happiness?

Worrying about the future helps us to make choices and take actions which will support our ongoing survival. It helps us to go beyond short-term thinking. To make plans and consider consequences.

Regret helps us to recognize that we aren’t happy with some of the choices we made in the past. It gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and perhaps make choices which we will be more happy with in the future.

The tools of worry and regret have certainly helped us to survive and grow as a species. But as my children are fond of saying, when it comes to evolution, “Cs get degrees.” Evolution doesn’t always choose the best option, just a good enough option for the continued survival of the species.

But what if we want to do more than just “survive.” In fact, what if our individual fight to survive is creating longer-term risk for our own well-being, as well as the well-being of our societies, and the planet?

Because the fact is, we only exist now, in this moment. We don’t know the future yet, and we barely understand the past, if at all. We can’t go back in time to change anything, and we can’t jump into the future. All we have is what we know now, and what we can do now.

So the wisest thing we can do for our well-being, is to learn how to stop and be as present as we can. To be aware of all the information that is available to us now, in this present moment, and to be aware of what we can do now, in this present moment, that we believe will move us in the direction of our highest intention. And then to do it.

After taking that action, we stop again, notice what has changed, course-correct if necessary, and take another step.

This is how we walk into the future we want to create. Step-by-step, staying as present as we can be with each step.

The next time you notice being caught in worry or regret, try stopping for a moment to be present with your experience right now. Notice what you see, feel, and sense right now. And then ask yourself, “What can I do now, to go further towards my highest intention?”

22 August 2022

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