February 26th 2015
Today’s blog is going to be about tomorrow. And not tomorrow as in the date of February 27th 2015, but tomorrow as a concept. The fact that tomorrow has a tomorrow, and if you carry on following tomorrows enough eventually you’re thirty-five with two kids who you can’t afford to feed because you earn crap money at a job you hate and your wife knows you’re trying your hardest but she resents you for not having a bit more drive.
I have a mantra, that I try to live by. I can’t remember from where I found it, but it goes like this.
This picture has been my phone background for over a year. It’s not there to inspire me, but to remind me.
At the end of every day, when I click my phone to check the time, or set an alarm I see the quote. And I ask myself if what I did that day got me any closer to where I want to be tomorrow.
And to answer that question I need first to know three things.
1) What did I do today?
And I don’t mean this literally. I don’t mean “Today I had lectures, today I went to Tesco and I did some homework and I…” What I mean is, today, what did I do that will still matter tomorrow. Have I read, have I wrote, have I ran, have I worked out, have I had an idea, a thought, a breakthrough.
Have I done something today that will ultimately matter. Or have I spent the whole day playing xbox and lounging on the sofa drinking coffee and slamming through an entire packet of Lidl-branded dark chocolate digestives.
2) Where do I want to be tomorrow?
For this we have to define tomorrow as my loose definition of tomorrow that is not exclusive to the date consequent to this one. Tomorrow is an abstract concept. Tomorrow, in this case at least, means in the next week, or month or year or decade. Or lifetime. The timescale I use is where do I want to be before I’m 25. For me, and I don’t know why, 25 is the age where I hope to have my life sorted. I want to be married with two kids (one of each), I want to be writing for a living, I want to have published a novel, (those last two don’t have to be related, the first two do)
I know that it seems odd/crazy/stupid for a 21 year old male Uni student to look forward to being married with kids and everything, but to me that’s the next stage after graduation. After secondary school you go to college. After college you go to University. After University you get a job. And what’s after a job? A family. (Some might disagree with the order in which I put those)
To me, I want my life to be progressing. I don’t want it to stagnate, to be still. I don’t want to be stuck in the same “phase” of life for years, I want to move onto the next one as soon as I can.
So, for me, tomorrow is 4 years away, and I know that’s not long to get everything I want, considering that I want to travel Europe and then America in two separate three-month trips. If I did the maths it would probably tell me that I should be engaged to a pregnant fiance (spellcheck tells me that word needs another e and an accént, but I think that would make it mean my fiance was male. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I should probably know that) already, but I’m not. So I don’t do the maths, I try to avoid doing maths unless I’m forced to. The maths makes everything seem actual and real. Which scares me. For now I’m fine with dreaming.
3) Am I any closer to getting there than I was yesterday?
Did any of the things I did today matter? Will they help me get where I want to get? Say I went to the gym, or I went on a run on a certain day, then I could say that day was successful and I could answer “Yes” to the question “Did what I did today get me closer to where I want to be tomorrow.” Because health and fitness is part of my idea for tomorrow. Say I wrote 5000 words for a novel, or I wrote 500 words, or I read a chapter of a book, or I did a piece of homework, then yeah, I’m probably getting closer to where I want to be tomorrow.
But if I spent a day doing what I did today, which was roughly equal to the square root of fuck all, then my answer is no. No I am not closer to where I want to be tomorrow. Today I spent my day in a permanent flux between my bed and the sofa, with brief trips to the kettle if I lost the “loser-makes-the-coffees” battle of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
So today as I look at the background on my phone and I ask myself if what I did today got me closer to where I want to be tomorrow, I say no.
Although, it’s odd, part of where I want to be tomorrow is still here, on WordPress (by the way, I’m soon to depart with the .wordpress.com part of my domain) blogging everyday. I’ve done it for almost two months, and I want to continue daily blogging. I want to say when I’m 25 that I’ve blogged every day for 4 years. So just by writing this, that’s some progress to getting towards tomorrow.
This part is a filler because I want this post to be over 1,000 words. I live by two other mantras. One is a Steve Jobs quote. “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that do.”
And another, slightly less poetic one. “Carpe that fucking diem.”
Until tomorrow, carpe that fucking diem.