The power of yet versus the tyranny of now: why we need to balance the carpe diem adage


We are often told that we should not live in the anticipation. We must let go of our fears of, and for the future in order to live in the now. You know, carpe diem and all that stuff.

While I do not want to contradict this idea, I think it is also interesting to consider the opposite view : think in the long(er) term instead of constantly being nagged by the responsibilities of the day.

I guess it is just a question of balance, like everything else in life. Sometimes, we have to be able to focus on the longer term in order to make progress or work towards a big project ; and sometimes we just have things we need to take care of today and we must be present and mindful.

In fact, I find that is not necessarily contradictory to be at the same time present and think about the future. The “now” can become a real tyranny if you do not find a healthy balance with the “yet” of the future.

Indeed, when we are told to “let go”, relax, focus on what is going on, this are all good advice. They also are the mirror of our society’s fears about the future, an answer to the multiplication of burn outs. However, focusing too much on daily tasks and lacking a bigger picture for our life could also cost us a lot. It can hold us back and prevent us from realizing our purpose.

What is important to remember is probably that life goes by pretty fast in any case, whether we want it or not. Some days, we need to be more present and mindful, we should slow down to appreciate it. Other days, it is good to focus on the bigger picture.

Having a plan, whether it is for the month, the year or your entire life, is a necessity. You need to have an idea of where you are heading. You just need to keep in mind that it should be treated merely as an indicator, a guide : it is not meant to be 100% fulfilled.

Why ? Because life. Life happens. And sometimes – a lot of times to be honest – things just do not fo the way you predicted or even wanted. But it is okay. Just recenter yourself in the now, breathe, and think about all the new opportunities that just opened for you because that is what change offers : opportunity to grow, to evolve, and to learn even more.


4 thoughts on “The power of yet versus the tyranny of now: why we need to balance the carpe diem adage

  1. Krysten says:

    This seriously reminds me of my today. Everything has gone wrong, there have been a million things that popped up. But Im trying to just center myself and make it al better.


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