Sunday, January 29, 2012

Live For Today, Plan For Tomorrow

Three friends of mine from elementary school - all successful and happy because they lived for today and planned for tomorrow -unlike some other people I know who bemoan their present state of affairs because they lived for today only


Recently I read a blog post of a friend who was bemoaning his present state of life.  I responded by making a comment by quoting that old tired "Annie" show tune "Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Things will be better tomorrow!"  Of course my friend quickly dismissed that optimistic statement by saying "I live only for today!" 

Oh my oh my.  How foolish.  I am so glad I didn't think "I live only for today" when I embarked on my Plan For Life when I was a mere 12 years old.  At that time I knew I wanted to own my own home.  That was my master plan.

My next plan was how to get it.  My mother told me that they could not afford to send me to college.  So, instead of taking the college preparatory courses in high school I took the commercial course.  I wanted to learn skills that could get me a paying job.  That I did.  I learned bookkeeping and typing. 

My next plan was to fulfill my obligation for the privilege of living in this country by joining one of the branches of our armed forces.  By doing this I would be fulfilling several goals in addition to my patriotic requirement to give somethign back to my country.  I would be eligible for the G.I. Bill when I got out of the service.  I took advantage of the G.I. Bill and got a college education paid for by the U.S. Government.

I also was eligible for free lifetime medical care, should I need it, by serving three years of activie duty.  That was also another wise choice that this 18 year old made.  There came a time in my life when I was in my fifties and I had no job and I needed medical care which the Veterans Administration provided to me free of charge.  I continue to use the Veterans Administration for my medical needs and I will testify that it is the best care I have ever received. 

Once I got out of the service I set my goals on working for a big city bank.  I accomplished that goal and worked at Girard/Mellon bank for twenty two years.  When the bank mergers became a way of life I was able to secure jobs with several other additional bank.  I made sure I worked at those banks long enough to be vested in their pension plans.  I now receive three separate pension checks each month in addition to my Social Secuity check. 

After I was established in my banking job I went after my next goal which was to own my own home.  I did not want to spend the rest of my life renting a house like the way I grew up.  I wanted to own my own home.  That I did.  I am now living in my third home that I purchased, the last two I built. 

None of these achievements would have been possibile if I just drifted through life "living for today" and not concerned about tomorrow.  Thank God.

I've made my fair share of mistake during my life and done a lot of stupid things but one thing I didn't do was to be so reckless as to "live just for today."  Thank God.

Anyone who does "live just for today" probably deserves to be where they are today.  Any sympathy I had for them was probably misplaced.

6 comments:

  1. I'm kind of a 'live for today' guy myself, but you gotta live for today with an eye on tomorrow/

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  2. I'm the same way Bob. I do "live for today" but I also have an "eye" for tomorrow. I do make plans for tomorrow but I don't put everything off until that magic day. Unfortunately for some of my friends, they only lived for today and now they're in a heap of trouble.

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  3. Ron,

    Well, there is "live for today" and there is "live in today". I live in today, because there is no such thing as yesterday or tomorrow. That does not men one doesn't plan for tomorrow, because soon enough that will be today and you must live in it. But it means I don't wrong my hands and fred about the past, for it is set and can't be changed. It also means I don't worry myself sick about the future. I have done what I can for tomorrow, but I can't foresee what may happen. I can only hope I've done enough and deal with what comes when it arrives.

    Of course those who "live FOR today" forget when today is yesterday it might be bad news tomorrow.

    Lar

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  4. Larry,

    Well said. I subscribe to the same philosophy as you. Unfortunately for my friend, he ONLY lives for today and now he's caught in a trap of his own making. He's expecting someone to come riding in on a white horse to rescue him from his present circumstances and that isn't going to happen. So he bemoans and complains about where he is now, not realizing that he put himself there.

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  5. Living for today but planning for the future are challenges for too much of one without the other is folly.

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  6. Dr. Spo,

    From the time I was 2 years old I had A Plan. I came up with it all by myself. I had no parental influence of school teacher suggestions. I realized at that time that if I was going to have any kind of life I would have to plan for it. At times during my life I may have placed too much emphasis on working too hard for "tomorrow" but now I have life in balance and I am very contented. I've made my share of mistake in my life but one mistake I didn't' make was lack of planning for a comfortable, happy and secure future.

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