Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shoulds, Woulds, and Coulds

Las Vegas, NV

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. - Henry David Thoreau

The hardest lesson to learn this past year has been to focus on the present.  My finance training taught me how to analyze and make sense of historical data and trends and to forecast into the future.  Unfortunately, there were no courses readily available on how to handle right now or living in the moment.  Please don't misinterpret my remarks.  There is value learning from the past and in preparing for the future.

What I am referring to is that it is equally important to just enjoy today.  That you should live today and handle that fraction of time you can do something with, today.  Each of us has a measured amount of time before us.  It's important to value what is happening in your life today.

My father-in-law has mastered this concept.  He enjoys the company of his friends and revels in their fellowship.  Although he keeps up with current events, he doesn't obsess with planning for the future.  He drinks his beer, watches Nascar races, and enjoys old westerns on TV.  Financial planners would be appalled that he can live with less than what most of us are told we need.

Imagine for one moment that you were living in a northern coastal town in Japan.  You didn't know that in a few hours your life would be imperil and that you might not survive.  How would you choose to live the remaining minutes you have in front of you?  Would you spend them dwelling on the past or would you make plans for tomorrow?

Go ahead and sing that tune as you drive down the road.  Don't worry about who's listening and even if it's off key.  Enjoy your life each day at a time.  Put it all in perspective.  Tomorrow is nothing more than stitched up today's.

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