Friday, September 24, 2004

Today Matters...

I've just started reading this book, "Today Matters" by John C. Maxwell. Though I'm still in the first few chapters of the book, I'd like to share something insightful that has impacted the way I think about the importance of daily living. How often do you have a great day? How would you rate your day today? If given a scale of 1 to 10, how would you have scored today? Even so, would you even know how to score it? What are your ratings based on? What determines that your day has been great? How you feel? What you have checked on your to-do list? How much time you have spent with your loved ones? What really defines a successful day? Everyone wants a good day but not many people know what a good day looks like -- much less how to create one. Even fewer people understand how the way you live today impacts your tomorrow. Why is that? The root of the problem is that most people misunderstand success. There are three things we do. 1. We Overexaggerate Yesterday We some times live in our past. Our successes and failures seems bigger to us in hindsight than thy really were. Almost any opportunity that went unpursued looks golden now that it's too late to go after it. "If only I had done this... If only I have done that". "I could have been the best in that field if I had just been given that promotion." We can't relive yesterday and yesterday is already done. John Maxwell keeps a sign on his desk that helps him maintain a right perspective concerning yesterday. It simply read. "Yesterday Ended Last Night". 2. We Overestimate Tomorrow How do you see tomorrow? What do you expect? Are things better or worse for you? Answer the following questions related to your expectations for the coming 2-3 years:-

  • Do you expect your income to go up or down?
  • Do you expect your net worth to increase or decrease?
  • Do you expect to have more or fewer opportunities?
  • Do you expect your marriage/relationshop to get better or worse?
  • Do you expect to have more or fewer friendships?
  • Do you expect your faith to be stronger or weaker?
  • Do you expect to be in better or worse physical condition?
If you are like me, your answers would reflect that you expect the days ahead to be better. Is our expectation based on anything other than a vague hope that your life will get better? In fact, for most people, if your day is bad, you would think that tomorrow would be better. Hoping for a good future without investing in today is like a farmer waiting for a crop without ever planting any seed. 3. We Underestimate Today Today is the only time we have within our grasp, yet many people let it slip through their fingers. They recognise neither today's value nor it's potential. It may sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It's too late for yesterday. And you can't depend on tomorrow. That's why today matters. I'll leave you here to think through and reflect through on what John Maxwell said in his book (I've paraphrased most of it, but I'm sure you'll get the picture). Sometimes we worry about tomorrow, yet have a sense of hope that maybe tomorrow would yield a better day for me or we fret over things that we have done yesterday and we regretted on past actions. Like John Maxwell said, we can't relive yesterday and we can't hope on tomorrow for it may never come. Today, this moment and now is what really matters. You have the ability and strength to do your best today, why not make it happen?
The Lifebuilder's Creed
By Dale Witherington
Today is the most important day of my life.
Yeseterday with its successes and victories,
struggles and failures is gone forever.
The past is past.
I cannot relive it.
I cannot go back and change it.
But I will learn from it and improve my Today.

Today. This moment. NOW.
It is God's gift to me and it is all that I have.

Tomorrow will all its joys and sorrows,
triumphs and troubles isn't here yet.
Indeed, tomorrow may never come.
Therefore, I will not worry about tomorrow.

today is what God has entrusted to me.
It is all that I have. I will do my best in it.
I will demonstrate the best of me in it;
my character, giftedness, and abilities;
to my family and friends, clients and associates.
I will identify those things that are most important
to do Today,
and those things I will do until they are done.
And when this day is done
I will look back with satisfaction at that
which I have accomplished.

Then, and only then, will I plan my tomorrow,
Looking to improve upon Today, with God's help.

Then I shall go to sleep in peace... content.
Source : Today Matters by John Maxwell