Miles Away From Yesterday
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When it comes to life axioms, I often rely on my buddy Ralph. He’s the one that said life’s about the journey, not the destination. He recommended doing things that scare us. That we should never follow the beaten path, but forge our own trail. Emerson understood that you become the person you want to be, that nothing is achieved without enthusiasm, and that failure is fundamental.
That dreamers will always encounter critics and that those who poses greatness are quite often the most misunderstood.
If Ralph was still around today, I’d love to have coffee with him. To hear him expound on the transcendentalist movement and individualism. But mostly, I’d want to ask him about complacency. Because, while I agree that it’s the journey that makes life worth living, I’d argue that staying the course and forging forever forward isn’t always easy.
Often it’s downright terrifying.
Complacency kills creativity. It turns relationships to ruin, replaces confidence with cynicism, and ultimately causes aspirations to be abandoned.
If what Ralph says is true, and life is about the journey, I’d argue that complacency is constantly conspiring to trick us down a dead end.
Don’t Confuse Complacency for Comfort
The difference between being comfortable and complacent is extremely subtle. As such, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re content when you’re actually stuck in a rut. Complacency is saying you’re happy when deep down you know you’re off balance. It’s when you know something’s missing or forgotten. Somewhere along the way you forsook what could be in order to accept what you’d been given.
You settled when you should have soared.
And to that, Emerson would surely say, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
So don’t stop striving. Turn off auto-pilot and remember to look around once and a while. See where that one-way ticket leads and what it feels like to face your fears.
When you wake up tomorrow, you’re going to be miles away from yesterday.
Today? Today is when you get back to the journey.