Sunday, February 24, 2008


"Life is 'present perfect' and not 'future tense'."

What a beautiful quotation? Hat's off to the creativity of the person who came up with this. Aspects of English grammar so well arranged to give a meaning that can give a new perspective when we are worried about the future.

Dale Carnegie uses a quotation from Jesus Christ in one of his books. Jesus prayed - Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Jesus did not pray for bread for the future or did not say anything about the days in the past when bread may not have been given or given bread was not good enough. Stress free life is possible only when we are able to limit our concerns to one day at a time. This does not mean we should not plan for future but worrying about future does not make any sense despite your best intentions. Things change and we can not possibly see all those changes. Making very specific plans for the distant future based on little information we have today is probably a waste of time. What is needed is a general guideline, specific goal and a rich collection of options to explore.

Another incident Dale Carnegie uses is that of a lesson he learnt from seeing the railway depart from a station. The guard and the driver set out of the station as soon as the first light turns green. They do not wait until all the lights to the destination are green. That does not happen anyway. Somewhere on the way, they are going to encounter a red light and have to stop till it turns green and so on. Starting on anything till everything is perfect is like asking for guarantee that we will get bread everyday for a year. Even if this request is granted, we may lose out on better things that may become available during those days.


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