How We Were All Conditioned to Worry About the Future
''There is too much 'go-go-go' and not enough just 'sit and be', especially in the western world, a culture that has created a population of stressed-out neurotics both chasing and at the same time dreading their collective futures.''
''We have an absolutely extraordinary attitude in our culture, and in various other cultures, high civilizations, toward the new member of human society. Instead of saying frankly to children, "How do you do? Welcome to the human race!" we are playing a game and we are playing by the following rules: we want to tell you what the rules are so that you know your way around, and when you understood what rules we are playing by when you get older, you may be able to invent better ones.
But instead of that, we still retain an attitude to the child that he is on probation; he is not really a human being, he is a candidate for humanity. And in just this way, we have a whole system of preparation of the child for life which always is preparation and never actually gets there. In other words, we have a system of schooling that starts with grades. And we get it always preparing for something that’s going to happen.'' —Alan Watts
Expanding a bit on what Professor Watts said above this is my take.
Therefore everything we hoped for was postponed to the future with every happiness, achievement, and fulfillment somewhere 'out there' in the mists of time.
The sad result of this is that every person lives, and has been educated to live in the future (or the past) having not been taught to live in today or the present moment, which is as we know the true eternity— the eternal Now.
I am definitely not suggesting that we should all say, “Let us eat, drink and be merry only for today because tomorrow we die” and not plan our futures. What I am saying is that making plans for the future is of no use to people who are incapable of living completely in the present because they will simply worry more and more about getting to that future.