Saturday, September 21, 2013

6. Do You Have the Time?

We all procrastinate. And we always justify our procrastination. After all, we are going to do it tomorrow, aren't we? Just wait till tomorrow comes. And what if we don't do it tomorrow? There's always another tomorrow!

Why do we procrastinate? There can be many reasons. But the most important reason is that we are certain that we have a tomorrow. But how sure can you be of this?

There is a story in the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. This is a story of five brothers. The eldest Yudhishtra is known for his moral rectitude and scrupulousness. One day, a poor man approaches Yudhishtira for some financial help. Yudhishtira asks him to come the next day. Yudhishtira's younger brother Bhima tells his other brothers, "I have news for you, brothers! Our elder brother has conquered death!"

A perplexed Yudhishtira asks Bhima, "What do you mean, Bhima?"

Bhima says, "You asked this person to come tomorrow. That means you are sure that nothing will happen to you today and that you will be alive tomorrow. Does it not mean that you have conquered death?"

A chastened Yudhishtira calls back the person sent away by him and gives him the help immediately.

So, don't be too sure of tomorrow. You don't have to think of death. But you should be wary of obstacles that may present themselves tomorrow. If you are unable or uninclined to do a thing today, how can you assume that tomorrow you will be able to do it!

Procrastination is based on a misconception that conditions will change for the better in future. They may not. They may even change for the worse. So, don't postpone anything you need to do, unless you have a good reason for doing so. And the reasons you conjure up are not likely to be sound!

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