Thursday, January 5, 2012

Work Now, Enjoy Later

There is a Japanese proverb. It goes, "You should worry now, enjoy later." In more proper English, it should read, "You should work now and play later." It may have several different interpretations, but it means you should work to address and solve problems in your work to enjoy your time after your problems are gone. Then, you can enjoy your time more without problems. A big question is, "Is it true?"

My father had a strange habit. He needed to give his own interpretation to every proverb he knew. He gave his own proverb. This time, his proverb was as follows:

"You say work now, enjoy later. I say enjoy now, work later." I remember his interpretation of this his own proverb. He explained that if one continues to work until he solves his problems, he would never be able to have time for enjoyment. It would be better to find time for enjoyment, first. It would not be fun if you continued to work finding no time for enjoyment. He said that if one followed this proverb, most probably he would never be able to hold his time to enjoy himself.

A serious Japanese would frown and say that he was murdering Japanese language and saying. However, these sentences of my father hold a truth. Suppose one has five oranges to eat in front of him. Does he begin to eat from the biggest or the smallest? If one decided to eat from the smallest thinking that the biggest is the last one enjoyment, the next one he ate was next smallest. The third one was the third smallest, and the last one was the last smallest. In this way, he continues to eat small orange in his consciousness. Instead, if he started to eat the biggest, the last one was still the last biggest one.

Does it sound like a sophistry? However, when you start from smallest, your mind-set for small concept until the end. Therefore, you remember that you ate all small oranges. If you start from big, you have an impression that you ate big oranges to the end.

This affects one's way of logic. People, who think big, continue to think big to the end. They may achieve something big some day. On the contrary, the people, who think small, keep thinking small. They will not be able to accomplish anything big.

Let us go back to my father's interpretation of the proverb. It would be correct to say that if one thinks about enjoying, he would continue to enjoy to the end. In contrast, if one keeps thinking about working, hoping that he can enjoy later, he would end up having no time for enjoyment in his life.

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