The Daily Stoic for May 22nd. “Today Is The Day”.
“You get what you deserve. Instead of being a good person today, you choose instead to become one tomorrow.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.22
“I don’t complain about the lack of time . . . what little I have will go far enough. Today—this day—will achieve what no tomorrow will fail to speak about. I will lay siege to the gods and shake up the world.”
—SENECA, MEDEA, 423–425
I’ve always thought that I’m one of those people that never leave anything for tomorrow. As a child, I was always the good student, and always made all my homework the same day we were asked to. That’s not a merit of mine: My mother is a teacher and was actually my teacher up until I was 12.
Thus, I had not many chances for copping out.
The fact is that, for better or worse, I grew up with that sense of responsibility, of being the one in charge of my tasks and chores. We all know what is right and what’s not. While today’s stoic excerpt seems to suggest that most of us tend to leave things for tomorrow, even if we know we should do them today, that’s not my case.
This applies to chores, duties, tasks… If I skip a day at the gym, I would probably feel nervous or think about that the whole day. That’s just how I am.
Today Is The Day
However, after thinking about it… I realized I’ve been leaving things for tomorrow my whole life.
Concretely, I’ve always been scared of taking bold decisions that would change my life. I’ve been a cubicle rat for longer than I’m willing to admit, working on jobs I hated. It has taken me a lot of time realize what I wanted to do in life and take action.
Most of the time, out of fear. Some other times, because I had a steady job, a stable situation, blablabla… you know the mantra.
So in that sense, while I kept on doing my short-term tasks daily, I was ignoring -I would say neglecting- the long-term future. Failing to take action. A lesson for me to learn. Today is usually the best day: for doing what we should, for being a good person, for a good deed, for changing your life.
Today is the day, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Today Is The Day”, reminds us an important fact: we all procrastinate somehow and leave some things for tomorrow. The things that scare us, the things we are too lazy to do, the things that make us ask uncomfortable questions… Stop hiding behind tomorrow. Today is the day.