Whoever wants to be happy, let him be so: of tomorrow there’s no knowing. — Lorenzo De’ Medici
People who grew up in a poor family (as I did) were likely used to hearing the phrase, “When we have money we’ll do X”. X varies, but it’s always something that is perceived as being currently unattainable. Frequently that theoretical money never came, and as result, X almost never happened.
Poor people tend to live in the future, as a form of escapism. This outlook tends to stick with you and is often applied as a par for the course thought pattern — even when money is not involved. “When I lose weight, I’ll do X”, “when this tough work period is over we’ll do X”, “when business picks up, we’ll do X”.
Over the years I’ve often caught myself in the process of having such thoughts, and almost invariably, X was something that could have been done — at least to a certain extent — under the present circumstances that I was in.
While you need money for a high end digital camera, for example, you don’t really need overly expensive equipment to get started if you want to take up photography. If you wait for the perfect set of circumstances to arise, you run the risk of needlessly delaying (potentially forever) starting a new hobby, going on vacation, signing up for a writing class, or doing whatever else your heart desires.
These days I force myself to avoid this type of thinking, but it still floats ashore from time to time. The risk of such an outlook is having your life slip by as you hope for a better future that may never come. This isn’t an argument against planning or even dreaming, but rather an exhortation to start living now, as the present is all we have for certain.