My father always had a habit of making promises he would never fulfill. Anytime I’d ask him for something, say a toy or to go to the park on the weekends, he’d respond, “Sure, tomorrow seems like a good day.” So I’d look forward to tomorrow, and when tomorrow finally arrived, the promise never materialized.
I’d get upset and grumble to my mother about how my father’s “tomorrows” never arrive on time, and was always postponed to “tomorrow”. She looked at me and smiled, telling me that she wouldn’t mind buying me those toys or taking me to the park once I scored good marks. That might sound like a good deal, but you need to understand that in my mother tongue, “good marks” translates into perfect score. You see, my mother was a TIM.
A Typical Indian Mom.
My mother at least presented me with conditions I knew I’d never be able to fulfil. She was honest about her intentions of never wanting to buy me anything or take me anywhere, whereas my father would yap about tomorrow being the day he’d buy me those toys, get a better job, stop smoking, drinking and get his finance in shape.
My mother and I would place bets on which one of his promises he would put into action once tomorrow dawned. She’d always win, by never betting on any of his promises, while I’d bet on as many as I could, sometimes all of them. Its ridiculous really, I actually betted on the options that were available and yet I’d lose every time. My mother was an expert at thinking out of the box.
It really annoyed me knowing that I’d never get the things I wanted because my father’s promises were stuck in the twilight of Tomorrowland. Only my mother had the power to actualize his tomorrows by telling him that if she doesn’t get what she wants, then tomorrow is all he will be looking forward to. I tried employing my mother’s tactic, only to be laughed at by my father who swiftly returned from the store, carrying my mother’s brand-new watch.
The Curse of Tomorrow
I realized then that my father was just plain lazy. He used the excuse of tomorrow to get me off his back, and it wasn’t long before I started using that excuse to my benefit.
A True Story Scenario
Teacher: Where’s your homework?
Me: I’ll do it tomorrow.
Teacher: Alright, you bring in your homework tomorrow, and along with it, an imposition for not submitting it on time.
Me: Wait, imposition? You said I had to submit it by tomorrow!
Teacher: I said that yesterday, so technically this is the tomorrow I was talking about.
Me: Oh. I see. I’ll do it tomorrow.
Did I say benefit? I meant detriment.
I started putting off work, hoping tomorrow would save me from the misery today. It never saved me on the days they coincided though, like exams.
Two exams in a row? That’s alright, I’ll study one tomorrow, and one the day after that. Wait, the exam starts tomorrow? Oh boy.
And We All Do it, Don’t We?
We even invented a fancy term for it, called procrastination. I’ve always liked the sound of that word since it starts with pro- which is often prefixed to produce positive sounding words like pro-life, pro-mise, pro-gress, pro-secution; you get the point.
I kept delaying, and had nothing to show for myself at the end. Actually I did, they were rotten grades, horrible mental and physical health and a defeatist mentality that festered alongside. The less work I did, the less confident I became. Things got difficult as I climbed into the science stream, and my discipline made out of jello only allowed me to wiggle my way out of those situations, barely making myself out in one piece.
I kept trying to escape into the future, hoping something new might turn up, showering me with a much needed insight on how to tackle the monstrous workload that had been piling up behind, just waiting to tumble onto me. Keeping everything for the last moment, you’d think I had freed up most of my time to relax, but I was constantly stressed and frustrated and it really screwed with my head.
That is the Curse.
The promise of future.
We look at it and ask, what promise does my future hold? While holding onto whatever baggage we have hoping the future comes with an aeroplane that will store our luggage away and provide us with a first class trip to nirvana.
We treat our finances, our dreams, and our problems that way and look at where it has gotten us.
Past and Future are Illusions.
We will never experience them in the moment. The past exists in our memory, while the future is always on the way, yet we cling onto those ideas hoping they’ll greet us with their presence while being completely oblivious to the present.
The present is eternal, that is all you will ever experience and have influence over. The past is over, the future has yet to come but the present is here. Its always been here, and the problems you have, they exist now.
The present will take care of them once you decide to take care of them now. If you insist on waiting for them to pass, they won’t go away. They will grow bigger, and overshadow your hopes, dreams and desires.
How Badly Do You Want it?
You want that sexy beach body? Sign up for that gym membership now.
You want to learn painting? Sign up for that arts class now.
You want to start blogging? Create that WordPress account now.
Take action now, and it will manifest itself in the future as momentum that will propel you with such might that no hurdle will be able to stop you. But to get there, you need to start, not tomorrow, but right now.
The results will show up in the future once you put in the work now.
But if you insist on making those empty promises, then don’t be shocked when you are at the end of your years, wondering how life passed by you so quickly. You will have nothing to show for it, and won’t have the discipline to tackle past anything that will provide you with something worthwhile.
No! not Tomorrow, NOW!