Published in


3–2–1; The Futility Of Past & Future

3 Ideas, 2 Quotes, 1 Question.

Inspired by James Clear’s ‘3–2–1’ Newsletter, author of Atomic Habits.

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash


I. Focus On The Present

A short piece on the futility of the past and future, and why you should direct your attention to the present moment.


The past, similar to the future, is fabricated.

You don’t actually have any ties to the past — it is just a moment in the mind.

As much as your past may be very real, it isn’t now, and you cannot change it.


Similar to the past, the future is also fabricated.

You cannot predict what is to happen in 5 years, 10 years etc.

Further, you also cannot control the future.

The time you spend stressing about things in the future is simply wasted time, as it does nothing


Past and future are not yours to control.

The present, however, is.

You can alter, shape and change the present in whichever way you may like.

Take advantage of this fact.

Direct Your Attention

It does you no good to spend all your time focusing on the past or future.

You cannot alter the past; it has already happened.

You cannot alter the future; little is truly in your control.

The only thing you can change is the present moment.

You have the full power to alter the present in any way you’d like.

Focus on the present moment.

Focus on getting as much as you can out of the present.

Focus on challenging yourself, learning and making progress!

II. Offence Or Defence

A piece on approach — are you offensive, defensive or skilfully both?


Do you take the offensive approach?

Are you the fighter? Are you the one that goes in, guns blazing and ready to attack?


Or do you take the defensive approach?

Are you ready, planned and prepared to defend your honour at any minute?

Are you ready to defend, with your rigorous plan, against any attacks?

Which Are You?

it is your responsibility to decide, first and foremost, which person you are and which approach you’ll take.

Will you go in, guns blazing and attack?

Or will you cultivate a steady plan, ready to guard your honour?

What many miss is the fact that you don’t have to pick just one.

You can be both offence and defence.

You can prepare for the worst and protect your citadel, all while attacking the enemy and laying siege.

Cultivate the powers and skills of both, and you’ll be much better off.

III. No Shame In Needing Help

Many have preconceived notions regarding asking for help.

However, they must be distilled, for there is absolutely no shame in asking for help.

No Shame

There is no shame in asking for help.

Despite the preconceived notions, there really is no harm in needing help.

It is not ‘weak’, and it is not ‘futile’.

Throw yourself out there and ask for help when you need it.

You can then reap the rewards!

Ask For It

With this knowledge, simply ask for help!!

There’s no need to be ashamed.

There’s no need to feel scared or fearful.

Many people luck out simply because they don’t put themselves in good positions.

If you ask for help, you’re putting yourself in a great position, for who knows what good help you can get! Who knows the things you could learn!

Meanwhile, if you didn’t ask for help, you’d have no surface area and barely anything would advance.

You need to put yourself in good positions.


What happens after you’ve asked for help?

In the most likely scenario, you’ll receive it.

You’ll often receive help from somebody more advanced and skilful than you are!

If and when this happens, take absolute advantage.

Listen to what they have to say and learn their craft!


I. On Movement

James Clear on how, if you first move your body, the mind will follow.

“People generally have more control over their actions than their feelings.

But we can influence our feelings by taking action.

Take one small step. Move the body first and the mind will follow.”

II. On Continuation

Winston Churchill on continuation.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”


How can you move your body in a new way?

Perhaps you could sign up to a hot yoga class, or take a small jog.

Whatever it is, do something you’ve never done before and reap the benefits!

Thanks for reading!

Sam. 😆



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sam M

Sam M

happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓. 2 weekly newsletters, daily stoic meditations + occasional articles and book summaries.