"Live Like There's No Tomorrow" is Terrible Advice

It seems like good advice.

It stops procrastinating. If today was our last day, then we would get started on that important project immediately.

It increases appreciation. If today was our last day, we would appreciate what we have. 

It makes us enjoy the moment. If today was our last day, we would make the most of our remaining seconds.

That's why "Live Like There's No Tomorrow" is on mugs and t-shirts and coffee shop chalkboards.

And that's why we all nod our heads in agreement and give the same advice to everyone else.

But it's actually terrible advice. 

It's terrible because it doesn't acknowledge the dark side to not having a tomorrow. 

If we aren't going to make it to tomorrow, for example, then what will we eat today? A reasonable portion of vegetables? No! We'll have pizzas and Big Macs and cinnamon rolls till we pass out. And why not? It's our last day. I want to taste something goodI

If today is our last day, then what will we do with our money? Save it? For what? We'll spend it. We'll buy a whole bunch of fun things until the money runs out, and if we need more money, well, we can just rob a bank. Who cares? We won't be around for the punishment. 

If today is our last day, then how will we treat the people we don't like? With politeness? No! We'll say every nasty thing we've ever thought and punch them right in the face. No reason to hold back now!

So, in summary, if we "live each day like there's no tomorrow" then, if there happened to be a tomorrow, we'd wake up feeling sick and bloated with zero dollars in our bank account while cops are banging at the door to inquire about yesterday's assaults. 

Interestingly, living only for today doesn't work in business, either.

In business, every entrepreneurial endeavor starts with the idea of Going Concern. Every business must start with the idea that this business will carry on far into the future.

That's how the accounting principles are set up and how the business creates all of its infrastructure. 

Otherwise, what would happen to that business? The owner would spend all of the investors' money, rob the company coffers, and maybe even harass the employees. Business without Going Concern is a nightmare. 

In fact, Investopedia says, "If a business is not a going concern, it means the company has gone bankrupt and its assets were liquidated."

If a company lives like there's no tomorrow, it's out of business.

In short, living like there's no tomorrow makes sure there won't be a tomorrow (even if there is).

The truth is: we should do the opposite of that popular saying.

We should choose diets that will keep us healthy for the many days to come. 

We should invest wisely and save our money for the future. 

We should treat people kindly in hopes of having long-lasting relationships.

We should appreciate today, sure. But living like there is a tomorrow can make all of our other days good, too. 


My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.