You can’t go back and change the past, so look to the future and don’t make the same mistakes twice. Malika E Nura
So your cell phone is not cooperating. What do you do first? Well… maybe not first but eventually you will power it off and back on again. And more often than not, it works just fine.
Suppose you were to do that same thing with your life on a daily basis? Everyday is a restart. A chance to start over and do this day better than yesterday. I’m not a list-maker, but for those who are, what if you were to make a list of how you might make today better than yesterday?
Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
The oh so overused phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” is filled with huge truism. Today IS the first day to the rest of your life and it matters little what you did yesterday. Today is a “fresh start”—a chance to redo the things you were not satisfied with yesterday.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday during which the guest suggested that we all look at our lives as if we were ten years older and looking back. What advice would you give yourself? I found this to be a most telling perspective. It required me to tap into my wisest self and project what I want to look back on ten years from today.
What Will Matter Most in Ten Years?
For me, my responses were not as surprising as they were confirming, still with a bit of a fresh twist. This is what my 80-year-old self told me:
- Don’t take everything so seriously. I am inclined to make everyday occurrences feel like such a big deal, when even one week from now I won’t even remember them. And one year from now they will most certainly be forgotten, so why should I allow them such influence on my emotional self?
- Respond judiciously to serious matters. Despite what I wrote just above, there ARE serious matters in my life. Most of them deal with unexpected circumstances fraught with serious consequence, almost all of which involve some kind of loss: spouse or job or affiliation with a significant group or even loss of self-respect or self-image. With these situations I must go to my wisest self and my wisest counselors. I must take time to respond with wisdom and justice. And I must allow myself pain and the healing, which will come with time.
- Take time for solitude and reflection. My morning rituals are essential—meditation, inspirational reading, and journaling. Although these begin my day well, they are not enough to sustain me for the longer term. Sometimes I require entire days of time alone, sometimes in a museum, sometimes reading, and many times just thinking and writing essays that will never be published.
- Enjoy every enjoyable moment of the day. This requires me to “pay attention.” Today, for instance. I am at Spring Training and watching my son play baseball. I must remember to ENJOY and not “keep score” as my friend Terry Hershey continues to remind me. How many enjoyable moments do we all miss everyday that if we are paying attention might be quite a delightful moment?
- Love abundantly. Yes, love is the answer. “Could you love and could you be loved” is the song my friend sings regularly. Therein lies the whole of abundant living, the giving and receiving of love.
Yep. If I could look back at my life ten years from now and say I accomplished those 5 items, I believe I would be a most satisfied man.
What does YOUR list look like?
Today IS the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Make It a Good One
Photo courtesy of Natali_Mis at istockphoto