I once heard that fulfillment is a result of foregoing short-term pleasure to reach a long-term goal. When I heard that, it made sense to me immediately. When I think about it, everything I am proud of in my life is a result of hard work, discipline, and dedication. With that realization comes a further revelation: the biggest irony in life is the fact that it is human nature to avoid hard things. We know eating right, exercising, flossing, and paying our taxes are good for us. However, as human beings, we avoid all those things as much as possible. We do this because we are geared to seek short-term gratification.
Thus, we humans are creatures of prolific procrastination. We avoid productivity and that which we do produce is done so begrudgingly at the last minute. If we do develop good and productive habits, it’s only because we found the fortitude within ourselves to instill discipline until that productive action became a habit. What’s ironic about this human propensity is that we desire to be productive and successful. However, we also desire short-term gratification—sometimes so much so that we become a slave to it.
If you take this to its logical extent, the more we procrastinate, the worse off we are and the less we procrastinate the more freedom we experience. Discipline frees us from the confines of our superficial desires.
Preparation is hard, especially in the context of estate planning. No one wants to think about their own death, the possible need for long-term care, or what may happen if we develop dementia. As an estate planning and elder law attorney, I know first-hand how difficult those conversations can be. Some people are more open to that discussion than others. Those who are more open tend to be so because they have personal knowledge of how devastating procrastination can be. Maybe It was their mother, perhaps their uncle. Regardless, they had an experience that demonstrated to them the importance of preplanning.
Those who are less willing to sit down and prepare are not folks who deny the importance of preparation. Just like diet and exercise, they understand that estate planning is a good thing. But, just like diet and exercise, estate planning is put off as something that can be done later.
What you may not know about estate planning and elder law attorneys is the other side of the practice. We not only help folks prepare through preplanning; we also help clients pick up the pieces after their loved ones failed to preplan. As attorneys, we are therefore endowed with the burdensome knowledge of the result of procrastination. None of us are promised tomorrow, yet most of us live like we will never die.
We all fall victim to procrastination. There is not a human being, star athlete, or Navy SEAL that is perfectly disciplined. However, we should all strive to be better, to set aside procrastination for the grater good. This is a call to action. Sit down with an attorney and make sure you have a plan in place for yourself and your family. Just like all good things, it may be hard. But, just like all good things, you will only regret not doing it. Call McIntyre Elder Law today at (704) 259-7040.
Brenton S. Begley
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
“We help seniors maintain their lifestyle and preserve their legacies.”