Now and Later


Most all of us live our lives with a certain mindset of existence. Our perspective of life determines whether we live only in the “now” or whether we take the time to think about and prepare for the “later.” Living in the “now” is what rules modern society. We have to have what we want, when we want it. We want that promotion now, we want that special someone in our lives now, we have to have the latest this, or the most modern that. A lot of times we compromise our future or our “later” in life to have what we want now. Be it through criminal activity such as stealing or cheating, or through sacrificing your honor and your respect. Sometimes the “Carpe Diem” – seize the day / philosophy of life is simply another way of saying, live each day in the “now” for you don’t know what tomorrow brings. I’m sure some of you have heard it put another way such as “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” I’m in no way endorsing those philosophies, but whether people admit it, it’s the rule that governs many.

 

We see this philosophy engraved everywhere in our society. Recently, the national sports station ESPN had a poll questioning viewers which athlete is “Now.” In other words, which athlete is the “it” person of the moment, who is the best in their sport, the most popular, the most influential, the most powerful. We have all strived or are striving for the oh-so-elusive “now” that will satisfy our latest desire. Yet there remains a fatal flaw. Whenever we get close to being “now” we realize that what is now soon becomes then and what is then, soon becomes forgotten. The dilemma is that we need to prepare for “later” while still appreciating the “now” that we currently live in. Nobody wants to have only “15 minutes of fame.” We want the fame, the admiration, the riches, and the success to last. Yet the only way it can last it to always prepare for the next thing in life. As I mentioned earlier with the example from ESPN choosing who is “now,” the winner was Tiger Woods. If you ask Tiger his perspective, he would likely say that he appreciates and is grateful for what he has accomplished, but the only way he is able to remain on top is to work hard and prepare for what’s later. We all want our NOW to be sustainable and our LATER to be attainable.

 

With all this back in forth of now and later I have come to the conclusion that there has to be a balance to have ultimate success. It doesn’t matter what your “now” or your “later” might be, (actually it does), the point is that we should learn to appreciate where we are now, while always have our eyes looking ahead at the future.

 

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