Tiny Wisdom: On the Illusion of Tomorrow

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” -Gandhi

If only tomorrow were here.

You’d have that promotion you feel you’ve earned. Your bank account would have an extra zero or two. You’d be finished with the improvements on your house, and ready for new ones to make it even more comfortable.

Your kids would be in that school you can’t yet afford. Closer to graduation. Closer to adulthood. Closer to leaving your home.

You could plan that vacation you’ve wanted to take. And take it. And come back. And want for another.

If only tomorrow were here.

You’d be one day too late to enjoy today’s sunset.

Twenty-four hours too late to savor today's lunch, today's cool breeze, today's little lessons.

One night too late to tell someone you love them—someone who could move, or change, or even fade away.

Smack dab in the middle of another today, when everything is still imperfect. And yet still so beautiful.

Tomorrow will come, and tomorrow will go. Take a deep breath and enjoy right now. This is what is real.

*This is an updated version of a post from September, 2009. Photo by lostintheredwoods.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Lexi

    I agree!!

  • That is how the show will go on, isn't it? But tomorrow will never come, unless one refuses to follow the dictates of one's mind in separation. Then, what happens in this present moment? If one really choses to be here and now, a new world opens up wherein pain and sickness and death disappear. This moment is the closest one can come to eternity in this world. There is no other time. Everything is happening here and now, everything that we always project into tomorrow.

  • Name

    This is a poem.

  • mwarthur

    Seneca of ancient Rome said as much. Have been reading some of his life and comments(see Alain de Botton book) and cannot stop thinking about that. That is how it is, one moment we are and the next we are not, so it is best to be aware of the NOW. Hard to do though, still worthwhile trying.

  • Anon

    Guess I'll post up then.

  • Anon

    Guess I'll post up then.

  • I’m so guilty of this.  Thanks for the kind reminder. 

  • You are most welcome!

  • Great message Lori!

  • Jennifer

    Yes, I have a problem with looking ahead because I don’t like what’s going on now.  Lately, I’ve been telling myself: “This is my moment.” to remind myself that even though I may not like sitting in traffic or feeling sick, it’s where I am at that moment.

  • Anu

    Beautiful post!!!!

    What is now is ours. The future is still a mystery.

  • kim79

    Needed to read this today..

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  • Zentao

    Ja, lebe Heute im Hier und Jetzt, den Morgen ist es zu spät
    Danke für den guten Text
    Liebe Grüsse zentao

  • Mind Whisperer

    This is great!  I love it.Could I please add this within my blog this week?
    Of course it will all point back to you and your blog with a links and your name etc.
    Thank you. very movingtony

  • Dear Lori,Although I’m in favour of taking a deep breath and having a pause for thought, I’m sorry Lori but I do not agree with the view of just living for the “moment”, or just living for “now”, that your post suggests.

    As I just happened to have a map in front of me showing world time zones, which means it is yesterday, today, and tomorrow at the same time (Einstein tells us that time is relative to our frame of reference); and there have been various occasions during my current life when I have nearly died, and others when I could have been badly injured; I have to admit that I am somewhat biased though.

    Buddha teaches us:”The mind is everything.  What you think you become.”Buddha teaches us:”The way is not in the sky.  The way is in the heart.”
    If we don’t like how we feel about the past, we always have the option to change our mind.We always have the option to change our mind, if we don’t like how we feel about the present.If we don’t like how we feel about the future, we always have the option to change our mind.
    We always have the option to listen to our heart for what we want to keep the same amidst the changes.  Remembering that thinking is not talking, if it’s only to yourself.
    For me tomorrow is a wholesome brand new beginning when something wonderful could happen.  Such as being alive.Namaskar.

  • Thank you, Amanda!

  • I think most of us do that every now and then. A contributor named Erin Lanahan wrote something powerful that’s been helpful to me: “Freedom is where my feet are.” It always reminds me to come back to the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or the future.

  • Feel free to share this on your blog. I would appreciate it if you would include my byline and bio with a link back to Tiny Buddha!

  • Hi Nick,

    I responded to this comment on Facebook, so I won’t paste it here. I think you saw it there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  • Mindfulsearcher

    “if only” is one of the most dangerous phrases in the english language. by always (or often) thinking “if only,” we defer the happiness and peace that could be ours now. thanks for the post!