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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Now or Later?

     Today I Stumbled Upon, literally and figuratively, two very different videos with the same theme.  One was a statistician talking about our decision making process and how our perspective ruins it very easily.  The next was a short film talking about what someone would do if the world were to only last four more hours.  The statistician was sort of “preaching” that our decisions are much worse when they are between now and later.  Meaning, we would much rather take $50 now than $60 in 3 months.  He was eventually and maybe not verbally making the point that we can’t get affected by the “now” bug.  Now isn’t always as attractive as it seems.  But how great is living in the moment?  Flying by the seat of your pants and making split second decisions is just so freeing so why isn’t it right?  I can get you a girlfriend or a job just out of spontaneity.
     If both can be right, planning for the future and living in the moment, then how do we sort out when to do which?  Is there a guidebook for when to be random and spontaneous and when to plan?  If there is then it must be hidden underneath the pyramids or written in some cryptic text because I haven’t heard of it.  It’s something that no one really thinks about very much.

     Of course we want to plan for our future in finances and education and work but what happens when you get to be 65 and you don’t feel like going out anymore?  What happens when you look back and say I wish?  How do we avoid wasting the prime of our lives while still being responsible enough to preserve our later years?  I wish I could sit here and just type out a really simple answer to this really big vague question but I can’t, I don’t know that anyone can.  It sort of defines us; it is basically the question of what is your life’s philosophy? 

     That is why it is so interesting to me, because I don’t even know how I would answer it quite yet.  I assume that is how most people are, they don’t truly know their own “life code” so to speak.  Most of us only live into our 70’s, which is a long time all things considered, but why does it take us that much time to really figure ourselves out?  The smartest people in the world will have figured out by the age of 25 exactly who they are, who they want to become, and why they want to do it.

     You can say, “I just want to live for God and do His work.” That is easy.  But it is a shortcut.  That is like saying that you just want to make art or you just want to run a business.  Sure those are great things to want to do but how do you do them?  This is where you have to be specific.

     One of my biggest life goals is to simply help people.  I don’t really care if it is poverty, disease, famine, or just whatever.  My big decision is how do I do it most effectively?  I spend a good deal of time questioning a lot of things.  So in my crazy mess of a brain it is really hard to make things simple.  But the best way I can find to simply the answer to this question is this:
1. Set Goals
2. Categorize You Goals
3. Prioritize Them
4. Achieve Them
5.  Have Fun In Between

     Goals are great and useful but if we lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve in the long run, then they are pointless.  Don’t forget that there is today and then there is tomorrow.  We live today to get tomorrow sometimes.  Today deserves our attention just as much as tomorrow.  We can’t have one without the other is what I guess I’m trying to say.  Just like we can’t have later without now and now is sort of pointless without a later.  They go together, all we have to do is figure out how.

T.C. Street

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