“Be yourself – No one can ever tell you you’re doing it wrong.” – James Leo Herlihy
We are under pressure our entire lives to conform to the norm. It starts in grade school with our entrance into the school structure, where we learn about right and wrong answers. The conga line continues on into our teens years with peer pressure keeping us in line with what our supposed friends think is “cool”.
As young adults, we are admonished to be like our successful friends or college classmates, as if they have discovered some sort of secret to adult happiness through social or corporate climbing. Finally, as we mature, we start to hear exhortations about “not giving up on our dreams” while we are prodded to remain politically correct and socially acceptable.
My duty to myself and therefore to you is to tell you that it is all bunk. True happiness is found by being honest to yourself first and not living life others have imagined for you. If you want to know what will make you happy, you don’t need me or anyone else to point it out to you. Just listen to what your inner voice is telling you already.
There are two days in every week that one should never worry about; yesterday and tomorrow.
Yesterday no longer matters because it is dead and gone. No matter how much one would like to go back and change yesterday, it is forever beyond one’s control.
Tomorrow, with its uncertainties, promise or possible adversities is nothing more than a blank slate. Indeed, tomorrow is not promised to anybody, it is only a possibility.
The only day that matters is today. The awesome thing about today is that it is here, now, and one can actively do something about it. One can start a diet today, which if followed faithfully, will result in a much better tomorrow. However, that tomorrow will never come except for good decisions made during a continuing series of present moments. In order for any plan to work, one must keep in mind that the decisions made in the present will make themselves known only in the future. Each present moment, each decision, brings with it the possibility of bringing us towards the future that we envision or one which we will regret.
I have run 3 marathons in my life. Each one took 6 months training to complete. 5 times a week, I had to make the daily decision to run either 4 miles or 6 miles or 8 miles that day. Once a week, I had to decide to run more than 12 miles on my “long” day. The daily decisions over months allowed me to run 26.2 miles and complete one of the best experiences of my life. The funny thing is, I remember more about the daily training than I do about the race.
What are positive steps are you going to take today to make your tomorrow a better day than yesterday? What vision of the future are you going to start creating today? What decisions can you make now? Good Luck!
Brian Tracy, master organizer and goal setter, advises us all about the importance of the “now” – the moment we live in. He encourages us in every decision we make to always be mindful of our goals. One of his basic tenets of his program is that we must constantly order our activities so that we are always moving towards our goals. In other words, whatever we are doing at any particular moment in time, that activity should be bringing us closer to our goals.
Another important point he makes is; just because something is urgent does not mean it is important. We will always have to deal with life’s little emergencies – fires will always need to be put out. However, if you are spending too much time fighting fires, when do you have time to plant trees?
When are you going to read that book? When are you going to write that book? When are you going to take that class? When are you going to give that speech? Sing that song? Start that new business?
It is the activities we pursue in the present, the decisions we make every moment that create what we are and what we are to become. Moments well spent bring us closer to our long-term goals; closer to the important stuff. If you don’t have time during your day to actively pursue the important stuff, you may need to do some thinking about what is truly important. Good Luck!