Are You Postponing Yourself?

Seneca, a great Stoic philosopher, spoke about postponing yourself, and the phrase, along with its intention, is over 2000 years old. It reveals that despite the passage of time, human nature remains largely unchanged.

We all aspire to be more than we are and focus on what’s important to us. However, we often become discouraged by the idea of hard work, long hours of study, effort, and action required before we feel capable or deserving of the things we desire.

As a result, day by day, we find ourselves never truly pursuing the activities that would fulfil us – effectively postponing yourself. But what if we prioritised those activities instead of leaving them for last?

Imagine if, instead of merely daydreaming about our goals, we took direct action towards them. What if the work, study, or earning money—whatever labour we believe must precede our pursuits—came second or even existed simultaneously?

Consider this: rather than reading the entire camera manual before taking a single photo, why not start using the camera immediately? Instead of waiting for an inner voice or someone else to deem you ready, why not simply begin?

Comparing ourselves to the achievements of others and perceiving their lives as more meaningful can only serve as a distraction, hindering our ability to realise our true potential. Similarly, immersing ourselves in escapism through activities like gaming, scrolling through social media, or watching mindless TV only serves to waste our time and life away. So, ask yourself: by engaging in these activities, are you becoming the person you want to be? The idea that these can all take some kind of priority over what we really want to do with our lives lends itself to the notion of postponing yourself. Effectively delaying what you are more than capable of achieving for short term satisfaction.

Seneca emphasised the significance of living in the present moment and seizing the opportunities available to us. He argued against procrastination, urging individuals to take action rather than delay. Central to his philosophy is the idea that life is short and should not be squandered on trivial pursuits or distractions.

Seneca’s teachings on the value of time and the brevity of life are encapsulated in his letters, particularly in “On the Shortness of Life” (De Brevitate Vitae). In this work, he warns against wasting time on activities that do not contribute to personal growth or the well-being of society. He encourages readers to reflect on their priorities and cultivate wisdom and virtue in their daily lives.

So, let’s agree that life begins today, and every day we wake up is a privilege. Let’s live with intentionality, fully engaging with the present moment rather than postponing happiness or fulfilment to some future time.

If you feel like you’re postponing yourself or simply feel that life is passing you by for meaningless distractions, you may want to take advantage of my free 15 minute consultation for anyone looking to begin their therapy journey. If you would like to get in touch and find out more about my services, contact me for details.

About The Author

An experienced therapist, Jille Tringham is the owner of Meditate Place and has years of personal and industry expertise. Her unique therapeutic approach can offer long term release and the ability to cope with emotional issues that cause daily setbacks and uncertainty in your life.  Jille Tringham has a number of years experience in human behaviour both in a commercial setting and as a therapist. She provides therapies from her Birmingham base to release you from your day to day challenges, as well as Life Coaching and Career Mentoring because she understands the physical and emotional strains that spill into all areas of life.