MAKING TODAY COUNT: INTRODUCTION
It’s always helpful to establish foundations when we’re planning to build something good, and as laying foundations for a better tomorrow is a core concept of Making Today Count, I want to make sure that we have some solid foundations for this program.
Don’t feel like you need to adopt all of them at once, but do be aware of them and begin to adapt them to your circumstances so you can begin to apply them to your personal growth.
One of the biggest questions I had in the early days was How did I go after my dreams...
You and I both know that if we want to get fit and healthy, then we have to do something about that. We have to exercise and eat the right kind of food. And gradually, over time, we will start to see the benefits.
So why is it then that we’re prepared to wait around for our dream life to materialize? But that’s exactly what I was doing. Deep down inside I had this idea that to live my dreams would take some kind of miracle. I didn’t know any other way.
While we understand that process of getting fit by doing exercise, many of us still believe that it takes some kind of magical transformation to reach our dreams.
There are a lot of books out there that will teach you how to think bigger or attract the right kind of energy to make those dreams happen. But this kind of approach can make our dreams seem unreal, like fairy-tales...and when they don’t materialize we can be left feeling that we aren’t being positive enough, or we don’t have enough of that special something...
I needed to be smarter than that if I was going to bring about the kind of changes that I desired, that I needed. I needed something more immediate. More practical. I don’t dismiss positive thinking, or attracting good things into my life, but I will always take the more practical approach if I want to see more immediate effects
BE A PIONEER
Personal growth is all about pushing through boundaries, and so that naturally means that you’re going to find yourself in unknown territory fairly regularly. But that’s where the growth happens. Not in our comfort zone at home by the fire, but out there in the wilderness with all its dangers and wonders.
We have to get used to that feeling of stepping into the unknown, that sense of being on the edge where there’s an element of risk. So we have to get used to working things through - working out how we feel, what’s going on inside us, what we are wrestling with. What do we fear, what do we desire, what’s holding us back. What’s calling us forward.
And there often won’t be any clear answers either. It's in the working through that we discover our own answers, and make our way - a way that may not be right for others. But we are pioneers, we have to appreciate the personal growth in us as we learn the lessons from pushing forward.
There is no way to know the outcome unless you do it.
In the working through, there is also a reinforcing of the life lessons we are learning. I recently heard someone explaining that the more they work out what they are learning, the more they reinforce in themselves what they have found to be true, the more effective they can be in sharing these things in a meaningful, coherent way.
So don’t be surprised if what you learn and discover ends up rubbing off on those around you.
BE PREPARED TO BE CHALLENGED
As we leave behind the familiar, as we push into new areas and open up new possibilities, we are going to be challenged. How we see the world, how we see others. And in my experience there has to be a certain amount of Letting go, and it’s not always easy. We have mindsets, we have habits, we have memories and experiences that have shaped us.
But in letting go of the old, unhelpful stuff we are making room for and embracing the new. This sums up what making today count is all about .
HOLD ON TO WHAT WORKS
We are going to be covering a lot in this program. There will be many ideas and concepts flying around. Some will resonate with you more than others.
Go with what you feel is right and let the rest come in time. Remember, think long haul.
You may find that practicing thankfulness, for instance, is a powerful catalyst for your dreams, and you decide to make that a cornerstone of your life.
THIS IS A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
Imagine setting out on a quest to a far-off land - ahead of you lies a wonderful adventure, endless discoveries, new people and places. Think of all that you will learn, the different experiences you may have.
You want to make the most of it so you plan to record your progress. You’ll keep a diary or a journal of your adventures. So why not take the same approach with your life? Keeping a record of your progress, lessons learned, obstacles overcome, milestones reached, goals accomplished. Setbacks, triumphs.
(I’ve produced some separate worksheets to facilitate this.)
Everything is a lesson. And some of them can be priceless. If you can find a way to record these events, what’s going on in the moment, how you are working things through, then you’ll be building for yourself a unique, powerful story, either for yourself or to share with others.
I record a lot of thoughts, ideas and milestones on my smartphone. And at intervals I’ll go back over them and pick out the silver and gold nuggets. If you take this seriously and make it part of your life, that you are someone who wants to make the most of your life, have a forward thinking attitude, and be continuously be growing and changing into the better version of who you are, making a difference in the world around you, then you will always be discovering more of what you have inside.
And that is an exciting way to live
ASKING QUESTIONS OF YOURSELF
Be continually working things through in your mind, fleshing things out by writing it down or recording your thoughts into your phone.
Let your mind have space to work on things as you take a walk or work out. So instead of listening to music, train your mind to be active in the background.
Our subconscious is quite happy to solve questions and come up with solutions if we give it something to work on. If we don’t, it will find something to do which will be of no benefit to us.
Challenge yourself to give one question to your subconscious before you go to sleep, and see if you don’t find yourself having moments of insight and inspiration in the coming days.
This one exercise, if practiced regularly, can be life-changing all by itself.