Tomorrow Never Comes: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 2, 2023

The proverb "tomorrow never comes" means that one should not put off or delay doing something until tomorrow, as tomorrow never actually arrives. The essence of the saying is that procrastination is dangerous, and one should take action in the present moment rather than waiting for some future time.

In short:

"Tomorrow never comes" means that if someone keeps delaying things, they might never get done.

What Does "Tomorrow Never Comes" Mean?

The saying "tomorrow never comes" highlights the pitfalls of continuous procrastination. It implies that when someone keeps putting things off until "tomorrow," that elusive tomorrow might never arrive, and thus, the task might never get done.

  • Often used as a warning against postponing tasks or opportunities.
  • Suggests the importance of taking action in the present.
  • Highlights the uncertainty of the future.

While there are different ways to express this idea, the core message remains consistent: act now because the future is unpredictable.

Where Does "Tomorrow Never Comes" Come From?

The phrase "tomorrow never comes" has been around for a long time, dating back to at least the 16th century. It's used to express that putting things off until tomorrow often means they never get done. Over the years, the phrase has appeared in letters, proverbs, and books.

Historical Usage

The earliest recorded mention is from 1523 in Froissart's writings:

“It was said every day among them, we shall fight tomorrow, the which day came never.”

It appeared in Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1756:

“To-morrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that To-morrow never comes.” 

10 Examples of "Tomorrow Never Comes" in Sentences

To understand the versatility of this idiom, let's look at various sentences that incorporate it.

  • I planned to start my diet but kept saying I'd begin tomorrow. Now I understand that tomorrow never comes.
  • He's been saying he'll fix that leak for weeks. I guess tomorrow never comes for him.
  • Tomorrow never comes when you're avoiding your responsibilities.
  • You've been delaying this for too long. Remember, tomorrow never comes.
  • Do it now because tomorrow might never come. Trust me, I learned it the hard way.
  • If you wait for the perfect moment, you'll realize tomorrow never comes.
  • She always talked about writing her book, but tomorrow never comes in her calendar.
  • Why postpone joy? Because for some, tomorrow never comes.
  • I always bear in mind that tomorrow might never come. That's why I do my best in every task given to me.
  • Why not give it a shot? Tomorrow never comes. In the end, you'll regret the chances you did not take.

The phrase emphasizes the importance of taking actions today instead of delaying them.

Examples of "Tomorrow Never Comes" in Pop Culture

  • In the song "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks, the artist contemplates expressing love today rather than waiting for a tomorrow that might not arrive. "Will she know how much I love her, Did I try in every way to show her every day, That she's my only one?"
  • Ronan Keating also has a song titled "If Tomorrow Never Comes," which shares a similar sentiment of valuing the present.
  • In various movies and TV shows, characters often say a variation of "What if tomorrow never comes?" to highlight the importance of taking action or making decisions in the present.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Tomorrow Never Comes"

Here are some alternatives that express the same idea:

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Tomorrow Never Comes"

  • What does "tomorrow never comes" mean?

The idiom means that if someone continuously delays or postpones something, it might never get done, emphasizing the importance of taking action now.

  • Where did the idiom originate from?

Its exact origins are unclear, but the sentiment it conveys is present in many cultures and writings, including ancient proverbs.

  • How is the idiom used in pop culture?

It's often referenced in songs, movies, and TV shows to emphasize the importance of valuing the present.

  • Can this idiom be used in a positive context?

Yes, it can be used to motivate someone to seize opportunities and make the most of the present.

  • Is it similar to "seize the day"?

Yes, both idioms emphasize the importance of taking action in the present.

  • Why is the idea of "tomorrow" so commonly used in idioms?

"Tomorrow" represents the future and uncertainty, making it a powerful symbol in language.

  • Does the idiom have variations in other languages?

Yes, many languages have their versions emphasizing the perils of procrastination.

  • How can one overcome the "Tomorrow Never Comes" mindset?

Setting clear goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and practicing mindfulness can help focus on the present.

  • Is it always bad to think about "tomorrow"?

No, planning for the future is important. However, constant postponement without action can be problematic.

  • How does the idiom relate to modern-day procrastination?

It directly addresses the common tendency to delay tasks, emphasizing the pitfalls of not acting in the present.

Final Thoughts About "Tomorrow Never Comes"

"Tomorrow never comes" is an exhortation to live in the present, make the most of current opportunities, and not procrastinate. Whether you're embarking on a new venture, seeking personal growth, or simply wanting to make the most out of a fleeting moment, the phrase is a motivating mantra to remember and embody.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It emphasizes the importance of living in the present.
  • Postponing can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Acting now can bring peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment.

With the uncertainties of life, it's always beneficial to remember that seizing the day and acting in the now can make all the difference.

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