The Tomorrow Trap

Have you ever fallen into the tomorrow trap? The “tomorrow” that never comes? Tomorrow I will go to the gym. Tomorrow I will eat healthier. Tomorrow I will spend more time playing with my kids. Tomorrow I will stop drinking alcohol, stop smoking, pray more, be more present, save more, spend less, and on and on.

Tomorrow is like the carrot dangling off a stick a few feet in front of a horse. Every time the horse moves, the carrot moves as well. The horse can never reach the carrot. We can never touch tomorrow. We fall into the tomorrow trap because it always seems so close. It is so close we can almost taste it, but what happens? We go to sleep dreaming of tomorrow. When we wake up though it is “today.” Tomorrow is all of the sudden a whole day away again. When we wake up and it is today, we feel no more excited to do those things than we were the previous day.

The weight of our prior day’s promises bears down on us and steals the joy of today. Today becomes burdened with what we said we would do. We start out hopeful and committed, but realize our commitment seems to be stealing our joy and then in an existential crisis, we again let the tomorrow trap carry us forward in the river of wishful thinking. We let go for today and live for the day, promising tomorrow we will start again with renewed strength.

We feel like we are living well by living in the moment, enjoying it to the fullest, but the reality is our self-induced burdens have stolen some of our joy yesterday, today and tomorrow. Those commitments are like an open tab in our internet browser, always running in the background despite us thinking we have tabled them.

So if tomorrow never comes, what should we do? Accept that all you have is right now. Your only chance to do something different exists right now. Make it count. Either make it count or let the commitment go to bed and wake up when it’s ready to rock and roll. Don’t expect to splash water on it’s face and drag it out of bed. Let it be. If you want it, do something different right now.

Make that healthier or wiser choice right now, knowing that while you may not see the fruits of your labor right now, the tomorrow of keeping your commitments will be a lot more satisfying than the tomorrow of starting your commitments. Each tomorrow will be sweeter than the last if you keep your action goals in the right now.

Rocking today for a sweeter tomorrow,

Nikola Rosa