ADHD and “Belonging to Tomorrow”

Do you demean yourself for procrastinating? Does demeaning yourself help?

Did you know that the root words in pro-crastinate come from “pro-” meaning “forward,” and “crastinus,” meaning “belonging to tomorrow”?

The big question here is, “What DOES belong to tomorrow?” Some would say, “Nothing.”

Would you agree?

What’s the basis of that answer, “Nothing belongs to tomorrow”? Some would say, “All we have is the present moment.”

“Agency,” argues Dr. Ellen Langer (, is what we do have in the present moment, that is, the power to choose what we are doing. She suggests that whatever it is you are choosing right now, you are NOT choosing something else. You are always procrastinating, in that sense. Or, to put it in a more positive light, you are always using “agency” – choosing to do this and not that, right now.

Do you get dissatisfied by the “not that” choices you make? Dr. Langer suggests coming into the present moment and liking the choice that’s there. After all, it’s the choice you made, so why not be happy with it?

At the very least, this awareness – that you’re in charge of the choosing – stops the self-demeaning. Picking “this” instead of “that,” builds the capacity to have agency. As Dr. Rick Hanson ( puts it, “Be the hammer, not the nail.” You are the do-er, the chooser, the one who is aware of now.  If you still want to send your living forward, so that your living belongs to tomorrow, then, you choose that, and not this, now. Either way, be the agent of your living, and be happy.

So, you can become aware of those times you’d like to push forward things you need to do, and want to do, so that they belong to tomorrow. Remember, though, that some people believe that nothing can really belong to tomorrow, since the only things that belong at all, belong to right now.


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