Are you looking at future, or past?
Ultimately, all human activities are categorized into three directions: past, present, and future.
Behaviors for presence is to satisfy your desire immediately. Eating, sleeping, and sexual behaviors are basic activities of humankind. Taking alcohol, smoking, gambling, computer gaming, and other entertainment can also bring you pleasure.
On the other hand, future-directed activities are somewhat of investment. Labor is an example. It is usually boring and uncomfortable, but reward you as gaining the salary. Learning and training are also included in this type of activities.
In general, activities for present is more enjoyable than those for future. So, you often face a confrontation about which do you choose. As a principle, the more investment you take, the more you will be happy in the future. This is the reason your parents encouraged you to learn more instead of having fun.
However, we cannot survive without essential pleasure. Activities for future are often so stressful that you feel irritated. Resting and refreshing are necessary.
You should be cautious that some activities reduce their pleasure when excessively used. Binge drinking is no more fun. Pathological gambling will exhaust you, and get rid of all your energy in addition to money. After all, the balance between the present and future is crucial.
This concept is also adaptable to politics. I think that politicians are expected to look at future, as I wrote.
My past entry: What is politics?
Politicians should take a leadership to give more fruitful society to the next generation. But it causes pain to us. For example, we have to accept austerity at present to reduce the national debt. Waste of fossil fuel will bring adverse effect on the environment. The role of politicians is to persuade citizens to be patient now, with drawing the vision of better future. Unfortunately, they tend to persist on immediate benefit and superficial gain, because they are concerned with the result of the next election.
Are there any activities toward past? Yes.
Looking through your life is also important. Regret is generally no use, but remembering that you have been helped by many persons is worthy for your life. It reminds you why you are here and what you should do. Even if your future is covered by the darkness, beautiful memory can protect you from fear of doom.
This concept becomes important when you are old. In the terminal stage, you cannot make investment any more. Instead, looking the previous life will tell you the meaning of your life.