I believe one of the greatest crimes committed by most people is their failure to live today because of their fear of tomorrow.
In school, we‘re taught people are born with a minimal number of instinctive fears—of falling, of loud noise, of the dark. These are there to help us survive. What we aren’t taught, is there‘s another fear that has the power to stagnate our lives, our careers, our relationships, and our success. That fear is the fear of the future.
The reason we fear tomorrow is that tomorrow is unknown. We don’t understand what may happen and being human most people think the worst. The fear of tomorrow exists in our mind. We have little or no evidence of what tomorrow may bring. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. The way to overcome tomorrow fears is to become so involved in today you forget to be afraid.
The only reality is the present, and it will soon be the past just as what you thought was the future becomes the present. It doesn’t matter whether you or rich or poor or in-between, you can only live in the moment. It’s these moments that record past successes or past failures. You think of the future and that moment becomes a reality.
Time is relevant; it‘s related to the present. You can’t change the past or relive it. Though they‘re people, who try to rewrite it. You can’t predict the future, but you can always find someone willing to play the role of a prophet for a fee or promise of notoriety.
Thomas Edison didn’t worry about the failures of yesterday, nor did he leave his success to the future. Edison applied himself to the task at hand. And, after 10,000 failed tries to develop the electric light bulb, his victory came on the day the light bulb glowed. Today, the world would be more miserable and different had Edison lived his life based on regret and hope. People have a brighter today because Edison lived in the present.
Rodin’s sculpture, The Thinker, is an excellent picture of someone who worries about the future and meanwhile stuck in the present. While we contemplate the future, the present is changing. What was tomorrow is now today. The reality of life confirms Greek Philosopher Heraclitus’ statement: “The only constant is change.” So, if you want to be a success don’t worry about tomorrow; handle today and before you know it, the dread of tomorrow becomes the opportunity of today.
When you are having a down day, you think of yesterday as being much better than it was. In your despondency, you may envision an idyllic tomorrow, but in reality, you only have today. You can squander today, or you can invest in it. The choice of one prevents selecting the other. Odds predict you‘ll have 24 hours, so make the 1,440 minutes count.
The reason we don’t achieve the most significant goals is that we spend our time reminiscing about the past or daydreaming of the future. What Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote is right, “what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”