“When are you going to do the washing” my mother would say.

“Tomorrow” I’d reply

“Why tomorrow? Why do tomorrow what you can do today”

I always felt stuck when my mom said that because I realized, it was because I simply didn’t feel like doing it. The pain of doing it in that time, in that situation was too much to bear.

“I don’t feel like doing it today” I said

“You want things to bundle up and there’s going to be more washing tomorrow”

“It’s okay, I’ll just do it tomorrow ”

Little did I know, my mom was actually teaching me not to procrastinate, an ailment which would definitely haunt me later in my life, especially with schoolwork. I was too young to grasp the full meaning of my mother’s lesson or wisdom.  Almost every decision we make are based on pain vs. pleasure. The pleasure of enjoying the current moment , which was not doing the washing, outweighed the pain of doing in that very moment. Alternatively I could have associated more pleasure to not doing the washing the next day, and embraced the pain of doing the washing in that current moment when my mother told me to do so.


The next day I realized what my mother had said was true, the washing had increased and I had a bigger washing load to deal with. Certainly not enjoyable.

Today, I realize when I do not embrace the pain of taking action in the immediate moment, it will most certainly cause me more pain later. The burden, the stress, and physical/emotional fatigue is almost certain to be heavier in the future if pleasure is associated with it and pain is not embraced in the present. So, not taking my mother’s advice led me to have backwards thinking – associating pleasure with the present and the future.


It’s clear to me now, many years later,  I know I have to embrace the pain of the proverbial ‘washing load’ or associate more pleasure with doing the washing in the present moment , to lessen or eradicate potential future burdens.

As they say, and truly so: NO PAIN, NO GAIN.





To not try is self-betrayal

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