While April 1 is the day that the tech world fills the world with jokes, it was the day that I stopped being one.
Back in 2006, on the March 31, I was sitting in my living room in Denver, Colorado. My living room didn’t have much life in it. The blinds were closed, the tv always on. The trash was rarely emptied, and I rarely showered.
I was skinny (well as skinny as a fat man can be), and I had a pronounced limp. It was that limp that kept me on my couch for most of the day.
Well, maybe not the limp. It was more likely the piles of drugs and alcohol that covered my glass top coffee table.
I think about that day a lot because it was the day I decided to become normal. To be sober. It was the day that I broke the Curse that had chased me for most of my life. The Curse of Tomorrow.
And, on April 1, 2006, I chose life.
It was a conscious decision and not a forgone conclusion. But, I woke up on April 1, 2006 and realized that I wasn’t ready to be finished. That today had become more important than tomorrow.
As an entrepreneur, I love being consumed by the vision of what the future holds. I thrive on my ability to see how things should work and my drive to make it reality. But, that constant belief that tomorrow will be better than today doesn’t create the appropriate balance between our mental selves and our emotional selves.
We have short memories – the failures of yesterday fuel the successes of tomorrow. We have powerful drives – tomorrow must be better than yesterday. We have incredible fortitude – you may believe that what we are doing yesterday is adequate, but what you are doing tomorrow will amaze.
But we fear today.
For if today is ok, if today is full of magic, then there is no need for the dreamer. If today is fulfilling, there is no need for entrepreneurs.
So we fight against today. We look at it in disgust. We talk only about tomorrow. We dream only about tomorrow. We live in the future.
And by being under that curse, we break away from what is most important. Ourselves. We forget that we have the distinct need to just be; to just be in the world that surrounds us and helps us and supports us and lets us understand….us.
I understand that believing in tomorrow is easy for entrepreneurs. It’s like our brains are set a day, a week, a year in advance and we struggle to engage with the world around us, with “normals,” with our friends and families that just don’t understand our ways of thought. We default every conversation to our vision of the technology future by reductive discussion of the pedantic efforts of today.
It is no surprise that startups are full of hipsters riding the cutting edge.
Yet, in the midst of that mindset driven by the Curse of Tomorrow lives the beauty of today. Of the enormous force of taking a moment to look around and engage. To the simple pleasure of just sitting and absorbing the lights and sounds of today.
April First is a special day for me. It was the day that I learned that wanting to live–to live in the now–was the secret to making tomorrow perfect.