The Tomorrow Delusion: A Procrastination Story

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

The nature of tomorrow creates a game out of life. 

A while back, I wrote about tomorrow. It was not a love note. It was more of a grab-the-pitchfork-and-let’s-take-this-beast-down kind of note.

Tomorrow is the day of promises. It’s tied to hope in a delightful sick way. When you’re hopeful for something, you’re looking to the future to provide it. Tomorrow is exciting because, in theory, it could provide all that you hope for. 

Let’s take that one step further. Tomorrow can provide more than just what you hope for. You can plan! I can plan to wash the dishes tomorrow and I won’t be stopped unless something crazy happens or I delay it. It’s something I can more or less count on happening if I intentionally do it. 

The problem with this game is that many of us are playing without knowing all of the rules.

Life Is a Game

Life gives you one character that you control (you). You have one life. You have a unique set of skills and flaws. And you have a machine inside of you that follows certain processes. It’s the machine that people don’t account for.

The basic goal of this game, life, is to do what your character wants to do. This goes for everyone, regardless of how you come to your conclusion of the best way to live (religion, politics, desires, leaving a legacy, making an impact, etc.). 

So, say your character wants to be fit and healthy (a common life goal). In order to do this, your character must eat reasonably healthy foods and be somewhat active. This is where the concept of tomorrow’s potential comes in and complicates the game.

If this were an actual video game, let’s say that healthy eating is an apple in the game and that exercise is a barbell. Junk food on the couch is a candy bar. Here’s how that game might play out if you were to emphasize the potential of tomorrow over the opportunities of today. 

There is one big flaw about doing it tomorrow: what you do today is what you’re training yourself to do in the future (and that includes tomorrow).

Oh, There's More!

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