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Thursday, March 22, 2012

If Tomorrow Never Comes

A couple hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. “Never leave that ’till tomorrow,” he said, “which you can do today.”

This is the man who discovered electricity. You’d think more of us would listen to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d say it has a lot to do with fear.

Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection… Sometimes the fear is just of making a decision. Because, what if you’re wrong? What if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo?

Whatever it is we’re afraid of, one thing holds true… that, by the time the pain of not doing a thing, gets worse than the fear of doing it, it can feel like we’re carrying around a giant tumor.

The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day.

Still, sometimes, we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug, until we can’t anymore, until we finally understand for ourselves, what Benjamin Franklin meant:

That knowing, is better than wondering. That waking, is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst, most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of never trying.
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