President Eisenhower once said, “Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
Eisenhower is also credited with saying, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Taken together, these two quotes sum up quite well the power available to all of us and the risk inherent in ignoring that power. What power do we mean? We mean the power to act. The power to actually do what we know needs to be done; we either choose to act or choose to not act. When we procrastinate, we choose inaction. When we act, we choose power to create in our own lives. It is how we make things happen, how we make living on our own terms possible rather than lying down for the otherwise inevitable to run us over.
Think about how you want the future of your life to look. Have you done what is necessary to allow it to be on your terms? Or do you avoid doing so? Life is a far better thing than a battlefield, however we do battle challenges that arise in life and it seems as we age those challenges become bigger and more frightening. What if we get sick, what if we become disabled, what if we develop dementia, or can no longer direct life for ourselves? We may even battle letting ourselves deal with these questions because there is a sense of fear that comes with them. Do not be paralyzed by fear. Action overcomes fear.
We all have the choice. What do we do with our “now?” Do we use now to make later better? Or do we shrink away from action and, “lie down on the tracks,” of our past choices and habits, “to wait for the train of the future” to run us over? It is a new year. What new action do you need to take to ensure this and coming years are better than the inevitable default experience if you don’t take action? Planning is power, and we are blessed to have laws that give you tremendous possibility for a better future through a well-crafted, thorough estate plan so you can live your future on your terms.
You do not have to simply wait for the future to run you over. Procrastination is for the powerless. Planning is for the empowered. Which do you wish to be?