Are You Living on Tomorrow Logic?

Image: Ann Reinking and Aileen Quinn in Annie (1982), Columbia Pictures

The Promise of Tomorrow

I grew up on the 1982 film Annie. Like any little girl that year, I learned every lyric and acted out every scene. More floors were probably scrubbed than ever before after that theatrical release! Although the comic strip was created in the 1920s, followed by a radio show and two films in the 1930s, a Broadway musical in the 1970s, and a 2010s film reboot, this iteration is the one nearest and dearest to my heart.

Sorry, Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks, aka “Daddy Warbucks”, in the 2014 film), but I do love Beat Shazam! That show is my jam, but we will save that for another post.

How can you not rally behind a girl who has everything taken from her but finds a way to get the most out of life. Her parents die in a tragic accident, her caregiver abuses her, and criminals manipulate her emotions to make a quick buck. Yet despite it all, she maintains hope that things will get better. She puts on a smile and tackles whatever comes her way.

One of the best scenes in the movie takes place when the poor little orphan with the hard knock life sings “Tomorrow” to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Just thinkin’ about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!

In a politically charged room, Annie manages to open minds. She inspires people to work together to change lives for a better tomorrow. I don’t think that would happen today. There is too much partisanship. Not all Presidents care to listen to the struggles of the downtrodden.

Live for Today

Not everyone shares Annie’s perspective, or they interpret what she says the wrong way.

Annie is not pushing things off until tomorrow. That is what I like to call “tomorrow logic”. Tomorrow logic is a slippery slope that can get you into trouble because it delays you from taking action in the present. Worse, it lets you focus on something that has not happened yet and to think that somehow it will come to pass. Tomorrow logic is magical thinking that says everything is going to be okay, everything is going to turn out the way you want, even if you sit back and accept things as they are today.

When you procrastinate, that’s tomorrow logic. When you wallow without taking steps to change your situation, that is tomorrow logic. Why should any of us accept a situation that is less than ideal? This sort of thinking allows for complacency in bad times. It can lead to a life that is unsatisfying, and worse yet, hopeless.

When I’m stuck with a day
That’s gray and lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And grin and say,
Oh!

That is not what Annie is saying at all.

Annie instead chooses to get down and dirty, and I don’t mean with her chores. She comforts a young orphan by singing to her; she rescues a dog from a group of mean boys; she uses her locket to search for her birth parents; she gets a curmudgeonly old man to open his heart. When she sings to the President about Tomorrow, she is taking charge.

She not only hopes for a better future, she makes a point to do something about it NOW.

Today Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

If today isn’t what you hoped it would be, it is likely your tomorrow logic failed you. When will you take action to get what you want? In what version of the future — today, tomorrow, next week — will you finally step up?

Hint: Today is always the best day to start.

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
‘Til tomorrow
Come what may.

The world is an unpredictable place, and how you react sets the stage for success. Annie succeeds because she lives in the moment and uses that moment to build a better future.

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya, Tomorrow!
You’re only a day away!

Tomorrow has every opportunity to be great, but only if you make it happen. When you live an intentional life, you can color the world any way you please. Today, tomorrow, and always.