• Michael Edmondson

How often are you putting off living?


Today is November 20 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “How often do you find yourself putting off living?”

People who navigate the chaos know that patience is a critical skill to practice but they also understand that putting too much off until tomorrow results in a life not lived.

American author Dale Carnegie once wrote “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”

When you find yourself putting off living, stop and ask yourself why you are doing so. All too often the answer involves something along the lines of "Well I am caring for my child, my parent, or some friend/relative and without me that person would be in a great deal of pain or suffering." There are indeed times when this is true. And if there is no other way perhaps your only choice is to tend to that person.

But when that situation changes, what are you to do?

Is your identity solely tied to caring for this one person? Those that navigate the chaos of caring for others know that, like almost everything in life, it too is a phase that will end.

When that end appears they are ready to do what it is they have always wanted to do. They do so without hesitation. They do so with the knowledge that we are all given a limited amount of time.

And in so doing they transform who they are into who they are meant to be.

British philosopher Alan W. Watts noted:

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is.”

How often do you find yourself stuck between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future so much that you lack any capacity to enjoy the roses?

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This Navigate the Chaos post is part of the Distractions category that includes the following entries:

  • 1 January: How often do you think about your distractions?

  • 8 January: Do you let something kill you or do you take action?

  • 8 March: Are you going to keep going?

  • 16 March: How often do you tilt at windmills?

  • 18 September: Can you ignore the ridicule to keep going?

  • 29 October: How do you spend your limited time?

  • 20 November: How often are you putting off living?

  • 25 November: How often do imaginary difficulties stop you?


#DaleCarnegie #AlanWatts #present #consciousness #philosophy

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