What if There is No Someday?


What if There is no Someday?

Do you have a big goal you want to do “someday”? Whether you say you’ll do it tomorrow, next month, next year or just plain whenever, it’s that thing you just seem to keep putting off into the future.

I think everyone can relate to this. We all have that goal we want to do, but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. It just keeps getting pushed off until the timing is right. But what if “someday” never happens?

Don’t Trust the Future

I’m sure you’re familiar with the Latin phrase carpe diem. But this is a short version of a much longer phrase. The entire saying actually goes carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. Yeah, I can see why people shortened it.

The longer version roughly translates to “seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the future.”

I like the longer version more. It puts more emphasis on the importance of the immediate moment.

The future is notoriously difficult to predict. While you can probably figure out what is going to happen tomorrow, the further out in time you go, the less certain everything becomes. It can be said that the only thing certain about the future is that it is uncertain.

No matter how hard you try and predict the future, something will always come out of nowhere to defy your expectations. Whatever plans you’re making might have to change in response. In other words, pushing plans you could start today continually into the future is just bad planning.

The Problem With Waiting

Many people push things into the future because they’re waiting for the right moment. It’s when the timing and conditions to start a project align into a perfect scenario.

The thinking goes that in the near future there will be a right time to start a business, travel or change careers.

For example, someone who wants to start a new business might wait until their finances are under control, their home life is stable, the economy is back on track and a long list of other conditions.

Waiting for all these things to align is unrealistic.

The chances of all these areas combining to create the perfect environment are slim. Even if some areas do improve, others might get worse. And while you’re waiting for everything to be perfect, you’ll just keep pushing off what you want to do endlessly into the future and never actually begin.

Trust the Present

It’s almost always better to do what you want as soon as possible. Make your plans happen now instead of leaving it to an uncertain future.

Sometimes it seems as if we have all the time in the world, but we really don’t. If you keep pushing everything you want to do off, you might not get to do anything at all.

I know that sometimes putting things off into the future can’t be helped. There really can be good reasons to hold off on doing things you want to do.

But whenever you can, it’s much better to put your faith in the present. It’s the only time you have so take advantage of it while you can.

Even if conditions don’t seem all that great now, there is usually a way to work around the disadvantages.

Let’s use the previous example of opening a new business. Most people would think starting one during a recession is a bad idea. After all, that’s when the economy is under-performing and people don’t have as much money to spend.

It would be crazy to open a new business in this kind of environment, right?

There are hundreds of examples of people opening successful businesses in worse economic conditions. HP, Revlon, Polaroid and Pepperidge Farm were all founded in the 1930s during the Great Depression.

These are companies that are still around today despite starting off in such terrible positions. Surely you can start what you want despite whatever environment you’re in.

Do It Now While You Still Can

You need to take advantage of the conditions you have now instead of putting something off until “someday”. I hear too many people talking about plans they really want to do, but keep putting them off into the future over and over again.

It’s time to take those future goals and bring them into the present. Get rid of the idea of doing something “someday”. All the time you ever really have happens in the present. And there really is never a better time than the present to make your plans a reality.
photo credit: Zervas

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  1. Very cool thoughts here. I started blogging and started a side business despite having a busy day job and a young family. I finally realized there will never be a good time, and NOW is all I really have. I do need to start getting healthy, something I seem to have no problem putting off to “someday.”

    • There never is a good time when you’re that busy. Sometimes you have to make time to fit it all in. I’m glad you could get things going though with everything you have going on.

  2. Great thoughts! Today is the best day to do or start something note worthy. Those who wait for “someday” will never do anything great. The key is to take infinitive and action on our dreams!

  3. Steve!!! Oh, yes, the longer version of carpe diem is superior and thanks for sharing it since I had no idea.

    I am so with you on this, Steve, as I am with you on most of your fine thoughts. I am all about doing it now. I have learned over and over that mistakes can almost always be corrected. Apologies can be made. Tweaking can be fun. But never starting is devastating.

    A Dream Deferred really is a festering sore.

    • Never starting is devastating. I like the way you put that.

      Even if you start that big goal and it doesn’t quite work out, a course correction can still happen. It’s almost always better to do that thing you want to do someday soon or else you’ll never know what might have been.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree, Steve!

    We would have never started our businesses if we waited for just the right time. I’m sure when I was in the middle of a health crisis was not the best time to leave my job and forgo health insurance, but I did it. My health improved because I had time to exercise, eat healthy, and just think! I was always busy, always rushing around getting “things” done. What a sham!

    • That would be a hard time to leave health insurance behind. It’s crazy how even in bad circumstances, you can still make that thing you want to do work.

      I have to say that’s pretty awesome that your health actually improved because of the decision.

  5. I started putting dates next to my “someday” goals after a friend of mine from high school died suddenly at the age of 29. It dawned on me while sitting at her memorial service that she had no more “somedays.” I did, and I wanted the things on my list to actually happen. Working towards those goals has helped me achieve so many things that probably would have remained in the limbo of “someday” without it.

    • What a great story. The death of a friend can get you thinking about those things. That’s what happened to me when a friend of mine died suddenly. You start to wonder about all those things you’ve been putting off.

  6. I didn’t know the phrase had more words at the end! I prefer this version too.

    Perhaps the 80% rule can be applied when it comes to starting today. For example, if I’m waiting until I have 12 months of contingency funds before I quit my job, then I wait until I have 80% of it rather than 100%. It is a bit risky, but means I can start early. And I’m not very patient…..

  7. Awesome article dude, and I agree with the other commenters – the longer version really is much better.

    I think this approach could applies to everything. Like with your priorities, where the best way to tell if something is important to you is that you’ve done it already. Or like with time management, where when someone tells you that they “don’t have time” for something really means that you’re not as important as the things they *do* have time for. :)

  8. I don’t think anyone would have known my name at all if I had kept waiting for someday.

  9. The longer version is a great reminder…and such an important part of the message that we don’t hear often enough. Longfellow echoes similar thoughts in his “Psalm of Life” –

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant !
    Let the dead Past bury its dead !
    Act,— act in the living Present !
    Heart within, and God o’erhead !

    No matter how bright the future looks, it is still merely an idea, a speculation. Long-term goals are great and important to have. But if we don’t take steps today to get there, well, then that tomorrow never does come, does it?

    Even a small, seemingly insignificant step can be seizing the day and moving toward that which we want and hope for.

    • You know I’m a lover of good poetry. Longfellow has some really good poems and this is one of them. I’ll take this one and offer another in return.

      Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
      Old Time is still a-flying;
      And this same flower that smiles today,
      Tomorrow will be dying.

      Robert Herrick – “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”

  10. Steve, I really like your approach to life. My life philosophy is very similar to yours. Live your life with passion and make every day count. So, when you go to bed at night and mentally go through all the things that you have done in one day, you can say to yourself: “Wow! That was an awesome and memorable day!”
    Live every day as if it were your last day!

  11. Don’t Trust the Future

    I agree completely. Although in this case, because I don’t trust myself in the future. I think I’ll still have the opportunity, but will I actually follow through and seize it? Nope. If I’m not doing it now, I’m probably not going to do it later.

    Though, I wouldn’t go to the opposite spectrum and live every day as if it were my last. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t work. I’d probably take dangerous drugs and spend lots of money.

    • There’s always a chance that you’ll follow through with what you want to do later in the future. But it’s true that if you’re not doing it now, you might never do it.

  12. Waiting for the right time. Every procrastinators favourite mantra.

  13. As Sean Ogle say’s “There are seven days in a week, and someday isn’t on the them.”

    I’m definitely a big fan of taking action today because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

    It’s especially vital to take advantage of motivation and inspiration because if someone decides to wait on a big idea, there motivation will fleet very quickly.

    This gave me a solid confirmation that I am doing exactly what I need to do.

    Awesome post man.

    • That’s true. I’m most motivated when I first think of something. You can always take advantage of that when your motivation is at its highest. On the other hand you don’t want to jump into things too quickly.

  14. Juventud says:

    I think the most common thing we keep putting off is “workout”. I can hear my mind making suggestions for a later time, evening, tomorrow, when u get the motivation, when u get physically fit. There are actually end number of excuses. Same goes for learning a new language. I think we just look at the end result and never get enough motivation to start the thing. I have missed on many opportunities just because of this bad habit and want to improve it really bad. Infant was putting off the act of writing comments also but then for the sake of the article I did.
    nice post Steve. You write very insightful articles. I eagerly wait for your posts. thanks

    • Thanks Juventud, I’m glad you like what I’m writing.

      There are always more excuses you can come up with to not do something. That’s what makes putting something off far easier than starting. Finding enough motivation and willpower to overcome those excuses is a great skill to have.

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