There are lots of ways to spot a foolish person. They say dumb things. They make unforced errors. They make the same unforced error over and over again. You tend to recognize one when you see one.
Seneca, quoting Epicurus, had a good test: “The fool, with all his other faults, has this also—he is always getting ready to live.”
Indeed, just about the most foolish thing you can hear—coming from someone else or coming out of your own mouth—are the words: “Some day, I’ll…” “When I’m older I hope to…” “I’m not ready right now but…” “If I ever finish this, then I’ll…”
What makes you think you have that luxury? What makes you think you’ll have the time? Forget about issues of self-worth and status and dues-paying for a moment. From a practical perspective, you can’t get ready for something that’s already here. And that’s what life is. It’s right now. Right this second.
Don’t be a fool. Live today. Be the best you can be now.