Wednesday, April 19, 2006

“Someday Never Comes”

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, doing the shower and shave thing, my mind drifted into one of my favorite songs. It’s by Credence Clearwater Revival, and it’s called “Someday Never Comes.” It’s all about a young man coming to terms with family struggles. The verses each end with the phrase, “Someday, you’ll understand.”

But then the chorus comes in strong:

“Well I’m here to tell you now
Each and every mother’s son
You’d better learn it fast
And you’d better learn it young
Because someday never comes
Someday never comes”

As I thought about it this morning, I started to think of it in other contexts, beyond family functioning. I started to realize just how often I fall into what I now call, “The Someday Trap.”

This is represented by the thinking that someday something will happen, and I will be happy. For example, someday, I’ll get that job and then I’ll be happy. Someday, my business will take off, and I’ll be rich. Someday, I’ll retire, and then I’ll be able to relax.

It doesn’t even have to be as big as those. It can be simpler things, like: Someday, I’ll get a faster computer, and then my website will really fly. Someday, I’ll get that top search engine ranking, and people will flock to my site.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that someday never comes, and there’s two reasons why.

One, as long as your thinking is locked in the someday instead of the here and now, you’re trapped. If you think living in the past is a problem, living in the future is even worse. You’re constantly dreaming of how nice it’ll be when some imaginary thing happens, and you’re not putting any effort into making that thing real.

Fantasy is great. It fills you with feelings of well-being and comfort. Fantasy can motivate. It can inspire, and even lead you to creative problem solving. But only if you come down out of the clouds once in a while to implement what you’ve been fantasizing about. Come out of the someday, and do something today.

Two, someday never comes for the same reason that tomorrow never comes. When you wake up tomorrow morning, it will no longer be tomorrow, it will be today, and there’ll be another tomorrow a day away. What I’m saying is that once you do get to your someday, there’s a new someday even farther ahead that you want even more.

“Someday, I’ll get that new car, and I’ll really be driving in style!”

Great. And when you do get it, you’ll find that it won’t be too long before that new car isn’t cool enough. It’s going out of style. There’s a new model with more features. More bells, more whistles. And you want that one, too.

I’m not saying it’s bad to keep wanting to grow and change. That’s what drives capitalism and business. That’s what keeps making things better and better. I AM saying, however, that if you always put your happiness and self-worth in the someday, you’ll never get there. Because someday never comes.

So, plan for the future, and hope for the future, but live in the today, work for today, be happy today.

Because someday never comes.

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