Warning: The Future Tense Is Dangerous


Many people make big plans for the future.

They will write a novel, they will start a business, they will learn a new language, they will travel….. They will…will… will …sometime… later… not now… in a while.

The problem is that very often all they do is talk – ONLY talk. Many think that stating their plans in public is enough. Many think that things may move forward themselves. Many are too lazy to actually start doing those things they plan to do in the future. Or at least start preparing the things, which may be done now…Many overestimate the power of thought. Thoughts without actions are not as powerful as you wish they were.

The scariest part is that often the future is destined to be in the future forever. There are always more urgent issues to solve, more important things to take care of … In short life happens and you end up dreaming for the future forever.

The thing is that there will never be ideal conditions. There will never be the perfect moment. Life will continue happening. Things will continue coming between you and your plans. Always!

You can’t predict the future, but if let it, life will predict your future instead of you.

So when is the right moment?

I guess it was yesterday, a month ago, year ago… But since that’s already in the past – the ideal moment is now.

Guess what? No matter how cruel it may sound – we don’t care about what you are planning to do.

Don’t talk about what you are going to do… please don’t. Do it instead and then show it or talk about the results. Avoid the future tense and stick to the past and present tenses.

Make the first step… it’s the hardest. But once you make the first step it will lead you to the second one…then the third… and so on. With each day you will get closer to where you want to be.

But if you keep sticking to that dangerous future tense you will stay wherever you are now.

Don’t let your entire life become a waiting room. Stop waiting and start acting.

And do not hesitate to share what you’ve done today to get closer to your dream in the comments below.

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11 Responses

  1. Vincent says:

    There’s never a right moment. It’s always best to just do it so you give yourself less time to talk yourself out of it. Similar to going for the first kiss of a date. The guy will over-think, rationalize, and eventually either give up or make it terrible. There’s never a right moment because now is just as good as any.

  2. This is exactly what I have been professing for years. I would tell my children, the probationers I supervised, etc. that the ingredients for success is a 1) a plan and more importantly 2) action. I even led a prisoner life class where one topic was titled “Get off your but” – I want to start a business but… stop drinking but… be a better father/mother, son, friend but… in truth everything before the word “but” is a lie. If you really want it you would take action to change it – not give lip service and think you are fooling us.

  3. AJ Walton says:

    The huge problem I find with planning is that as soon as you do ANYTHING, the plan has to change. Life is far too complex to see how this moment will turn out, never mind tomorrow or the next day. Choose a general direction based on your values, interests, goals, or whatever – and then act based on the needs of the current situation.

  4. Randall says:

    Your insight increases life’s probabilities, indeed! My pastor taught from the Bible about this concept, and when I started applying those principles (the same ones you share here) “tomorrow” suddenly started feeling like the next day or so, if you get what I’m saying!

    Now, when I use the future tense, it’s usually as an explanation for why I do things the way I do them today…to prepare, invest or build momentum for tomorrow! Great article, though…thanks for sharing!

  5. I’ve always been a take-charge kind of gal and I learned this by watching my parents in action throughout my life. Procrastinators miss out on so much in life!

    If I am too busy to start a venture or a simple task I need to accomplish, I make a realistic plan which includes an actual date of start/completion, I write it down, and I make certain I stick to the plan. Works for me every time as long as I don’t place unfair demands on my own schedule.

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