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It’s Beyond Arrogant

Daily Stoic Emails

Human beings have been putting things off for as long as there have been things to do. We tell ourselves we’ll do it when we’re older, after we finish, when we have more time, when the seasons change. We tell ourselves we’ll do it tomorrow. And yet…

Even the Bible rebukes this tendency—as not only lazy but entitled, referring to our “arrogant schemes” about what we plan to do this year or next, this week or next. As if we decide that. As if we can take that for granted. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” reads James 4:13. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

In Meditations, Marcus reminds himself that while today is for certain, tomorrow he could be embalming fluid and ash. We could leave life right now, he says, and that must determine what we do and say and think today. Not tomorrow.

Memento Mori. You are mortal.

So go play with your kids. Go apologize to your brother. Tell that person you love them. Speak out about the things you think are important. Stop sweating things that don’t matter. Stop deferring what you have always wanted to do—stop deferring what you know you were meant to do, what you know is right to do. Don’t be arrogant. Be humble. Realize you cannot assume you will get six more months , let alone six more years.

So while you are blessed in this life with this life…use it.