Live for Today or Live for Tomorrow?

There seems to be a genuine conceptual struggle among folks these days. I don’t really know if it is something new, or if it has always been with us. All I can note are my own observations. I watch people. I listen to what they say and observe what they do. I also pay close attention to that which they DON’T do.

It’s all about trying to do the impossible. I try to learn from others mistakes. It doesn’t always work! But I have learned a great deal about others and why some succeed and some don’t. Just before Christmas I was in the hospital recovering from my second spinal fusion surgery. Late one evening a couple that I knew through business surprised me by visiting. To my great joy they stayed for over two hours and we had some very meaningful conversation.

It was shared with me that they had nearly ended their marriage. The reason? Business. That staggered me! But let me share with you what had happened in the hope that this might prevent the same from occurring in even one instance.

The husband is the consummate ‘Go Getter’ and when he started his own business that trait blossomed. If there is one thing you need to make it in most businesses this is it! He worked night and day to make it happen for them. And it did! For nearly ten years he ate, slept, and dreamed his business.

It almost sounds like a good thing. But he was far, far out of balance.

You know what? It takes being out of balance to make it. It truly does. And those who can’t or won’t give that of themselves will probably never have a huge success. But there has to be an understanding of LIFE PRIORITIES. Without those we can turn into Ebenezer Scrooge or worse.

After all what use is money if it’s full time companion is loneliness or sadness? Now I don’t mean to suggest Life Priorities for you. But here are mine in the order of importance: God, Family, Country, Health, Money. What does that mean?

My wife comes before my business. Building a future is very, very important to me. I refuse to allow us to be among those of the population who are in perpetual financial stress and die broke and in debt. This is at the top of my thoughts daily.

BUT this future goal is not permitted to interfere with my daily happiness in life. That joy is primarily my family and friends and is the major DRIVING FORCE for my other goals. What I have witnessed all to often, is people losing the very things that they are working for because of some need or aspect of that work.

That is what almost happened to this couple. In the pursuit of happiness, it was nearly lost. You cannot Live for Tomorrow. Remember, James 4:14 NIV, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

So then….we should Live for Today?

I am a child of the 1960s. Perhaps some of you can relate to that. My teen years were in the time of hippies, flower power and total lack of personal responsibility. I lived for several years in the mode of Living for Today.

All I can say about it is I can not imagine ever doing it again. Among other things it is the very definition of selfishness and immaturity. After all, “If it feels good, do it” is not a good measure of a person’s life.

So if it is neither Live for Today or Live for Tomorrow then what’s left?

Living to a set of unchanging values. One of the most important things we can do is to invest how ever much time it takes to make an extensive list of our beliefs and values. We need to know what our Life’s Priorities are. We need to know in advance where we stand on the important things so surprise is never a factor in decisions. And neither is ‘Situational Ethics.’

Know where you stand and you can always stand back up again. I promise you that on the road to ANYTHING of value,you will get pushed off course and occasionally knocked down.

Till next time. Good luck and God Bless.
Remember, IdeasWIN. Develop yours, Chris

Original Source:
Posted 12-30-2004

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