Wisdom says “tomorrow never comes”. Wisdom also says “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Of course, wisdom is full of contradictory and confusing concepts. Well, confusing to some of us, and less-so to the more wizened among us. I have heard the expression “tomorrow never comes” thousands of times throughout my life. Such a cliché hardly deserves a serious listen, or does it? I don’t believe I have ever once, stopped to ponder its meaning; either the literal meaning, or the customized meaning for me.
Literally, it is a sarcastically cutesy, pain-in-the-neck expression, isn’t it? To say technically, when tomorrow arrives, you will be calling it “today”, thereby chasing the “tomorrow” reference. It’s like a dog chases its tale and cannot figure out why the tale advances at the same speed he does. I admit, I have been that dog. Ok, I’ll take that one further – I have been that dog a lot! How can we find value in this wisdom so we stop chasing our tale?
What is new and valuable to me, is discovering what I can do right here and right now to experience what I think I should be experiencing tomorrow. Ask yourself what you want for your future. Think about what that is and what it means to you. If you had what you want, then what would you have? What would that get you and what would that mean to you? Then, if you really think about whatever that is, could you not have that right now? When I do this exercise, the answer is almost always yes. What we really want is right in front of us. Love, health, happiness, joy, are all available to us for the asking.
Working on our careers will take time. Building relationships, making new friends, saving money, losing weight, all take time and we must plan and work and be patient. I have two points about this. One, yes they take time, planning and work. Meanwhile, there is always an action step you can take today to move you in the direction you want, right now. Take the action. Two, the rewards of this work, ultimately are not the money, the job, the big house or the perfect family. They are peace, joy, love, confidence, happiness… all of which are subjective experiences we think will be easier to find if we had the perfect body, more money and a fancy title. We could choose any of these rewards at any given moment. If we wait until tomorrow, it will look a lot like today. Not only will it be called “today” when you get to tomorrow, as the cliché explains, but more importantly, it will feel just like today. Even when all the planning pays off and you arrive at your future you worked so hard to build, unless you decide to shift your perspective, it will disappoint you.
Tomorrow never comes, yet it never goes away either. It will always be there, either tempting you with either a threat or a promise, depending on whether you choose anxiety or hope. Given its elusive nature, it may inspire you to look backwards at all the evidence that things will never change, inviting in depression or apathy. The reality is, all of these are mere impressions, or perceptions that we choose in the moment. Perceptions can only be experienced today. Right here, right now. Your life is really just a series of todays. Decide, what will you choose to experience today?
Michael Kline is a Certified RIM Facilitator and Canfield Success Trainer for personal and group transformation. You can reach him through his website www.intus.life, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.