The notion that this life is simply a preparation for some future existence, rests on the presupposition that the supernatural exists. I have gone to some lengths to explain why I believe our culture, our society, has chosen to disregard the obvious indicators that the supernatural exists.
For those inclined to believe, there remains a rather obvious analogy, that of a progression through an earthly educational process of discovery and development of spiritual awareness, self control, and struggle to overcome our propensity to do evil, in preparation for graduation to a supernatural realm, hopefully on the side of the angels.
Staying focused on life as pilgrimage allows one to stay centered when the chaos of modern secular life threatens to overwhelm you. It allows one to re-establish right priorities no matter what the world is screaming about. Having right priorities reduces daily stress dramatically.
If we can eventually attain enough self control to trust God for everything then very many, if not most, of our earthly trials simply cease to exist. But to stop making and executing our own plans without recourse to God is a difficult path fraught with temptation and failure on every side.
One aid which I have found helpful in this process is the “Prayer of the Examine“. I add my own caveat that at first it is very difficult if not impossible unless one breaks up the daily process into much smaller, more frequent periods so that one makes the examen often, such as at rising, breakfast, coffee break, lunch, coffee break, supper, evening and bedtime.
After significant practice one might be able to reduce the number of periods of prayer if one desires, but at the beginning I have found that the sheer magnitude of the task mitigates against successful praying the examin only once a day, in the evening for example.
Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately