To fix tomorrow before tomorrow arrives is what we do all the time. It may be because we cannot let go of the compulsive human desire to exist in future and to try to take all steps necessary to have a better future even if it is at the cost of the very alive present. Many people and just as many spiritual gurus have counseled us time and again to live in the present and focus on what we have in the present instead of looking at what we might have tomorrow, but none of those advices seems to work with human beings. And that’s because as human beings we are always building something or the other, and the concept of building is positioned in future. After all, one doesn’t really build for today. One builds for the future. The future is, thus, very much present in every bit of the present we live in.
It is wrong to believe that those who do not live in the present are condemned to lose their present and are also set for a bleak tomorrow. It is quite possible to live in both today and tomorrow at the same time. A cobbler who enjoys making shoes is making a pair of shoes for someone else to wear in the near future, and he is engrossed in the act of making shoes with all the attention so that someone else could enjoy wearing the shoes at a later date. He is happy doing it and would be just as happy, if not happier, to see the future wearer of the shoes enjoy wearing the product of his labour. Through his today the cobbler earns and cobbles up a tomorrow just as alive and as happy as the present he lived making the shoes. If the cobbler was only thinking about the future, he might have had a happy future but his present would have been lost in a backbreaking drudgery.
Therefore, the idea that one cannot really live in both present and future at the same time is not only erroneous but is also harmful. One surely can live in both the present as well as the future, but only if one knows how to be alive in the future without having to forego of one’s dreams of a better future. I believe every great human being and every successful individual did live in both the present as well as the future because one possibly cannot be truly happy or truly successful living either in the present or in the future alone. True happiness lies in living in one’s present as well as one’s future at the same time.
HemRaj Singh is a lawyer and Legal Editor with one of India’s most reputed law publishing companies, and is based in New Delhi (India).