That First Day

Today is a day worth celebrating, because it's the first day of a new beginning.

It's easy for me to say "Oh Yes!" when I get up in the morning, and really mean it.

I already have an appreciation of the day before me: I have my eyes open to possibilities, I'm eager to get on with pursuing my goals, there is a drive deep down, a momentum to my life that has built up over months and years of following through with decisions I made a long time ago.

It's easier, when you know that you made yesterday count for something, to say "Oh Yes!" with confidence and meaning.

But it wasn't always that way, and if this is all new to you then you may struggle to find an "Oh Yes!" at first, or even appreciate the significance of it.

Recently I came down with a bought of 'flu that really knocked me out for over a week. I'm not someone who gets sick very often, and both physically and mentally I was at a stand-still. I would try hard to find some mental energy to write or study, but quickly I would run out of steam. It felt like my days were just wasting away.

And it made me think, because it reminded me of what life used to be like for me before I understood the power of making today count. When one day just fades into another jumble of insignificant memories, with nothing to show for it, it can feel like we are adrift on the ocean with nothing but a misty horizon in all direction.

If you have nothing good to look back on, if it's been months or years since you made a conscious effort to break out of the normal and seize hold of today, if you can't remember when you last considered doing things differently, then it can be hard to find that "Oh Yes!" to start your day with.

So how do you quickly make that change from standing still, to leaping forward?

When you're just starting out it's important to make sure that you do something, one thing, today, that you can in some way be proud of. That in some way, however small, you made a difference, or achieved something of significance to set yourself on a path of change.

Your goal is to finish today having made that first step. so that tomorrow you have something to say "Oh Yes!" about.

All of us, to some degree or other, start at the same place. Think about it - if you were completely happy with where you are in life, you wouldn't even be considering how to change. So that fact that you stand at the cross-roads right now means you are about to embark on a whole new adventure - a new stage of your life.

Yes, we can look forward to today. If you know that there's going to be a high-point to the day ahead, by all means use that to get you going in the morning. "Oh yes! I have that to look forward to..." can mean the difference between the everyday slog, and a new approach.

But, let's not rely on those things to make the difference.

Instead, we need to ensure that we have more to work with than simply looking forward to things. We need to arrive at a place where we know deep down that we are actively taking the wheel to bring about lasting change.




Notes on That First Day...

Turning Point

At this moment you stand at a cross-roads. You are not alone. Many have come this way, many are standing with you, and many more will come along.

I believe in the power of choice, and we'll look at that more in a later lesson, but it's incredibly empowering to understand the position you are in right now.

You can decide where to go.

If you decide today that you are going to make a commitment to your dreams, that you are going to pursue lasting change, and that you are going to make this program a part of your life, then you are stepping into a bigger, brighter future full of possibilities.

If you decide that you are happy with how things are, that you want to continue to stick with what you know, that you don't really want to change...then that also is your choice.

You can also decide to wait around for things to change. I know what that's like. I waited a long time...

Once you've taken just once step towards your dreams, you have something to look back on - a decision made. It's a significant point that I don't want you to underestimate. In the day, weeks and years ahead you'll be able to look back at the cross-roads and see it as the turning-point that it truly is.


The Power of Choice

I can divide my life up into two halves. Before I understood the power of choice, and afterwards. Afterwards is better.

When I finally realized that I could decide where my life was headed, a whole new world of opportunity opened up to me. A single choice can mean the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. A single choice can begin a whole new phase of your life.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by…” — Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

This powerful line from Frost's famous poem says it all for me. There has to be a decision: one road, or the other. We can't take both. We can't, having taken one road, double back and take the other.

The word decision comes from a Latin word meaning literally "to cut off." When you make a choice, you cut off the other options through making a decision. So there is no other road to take. There is only one. But here's the really freeing part: it's the one you choose.

If you are at a place in your life right now where you don't know exactly what needs to change but you know something isn't right, then you have a choice: ignore it, or look for a way forward. If you choose to look for a solution, then ignoring it is dead to you. There is only one way to go.

If you're unhappy with the path your career is taking, or you're beginning to doubt that a career is really going to satisfy you, then you have a choice: ride it out, or seek a new direction. If you seek a new direction, then riding it out is no longer an option.

Understand the Power of Choice and discover the real freedom it brings for living a bigger life.

More Thoughts on the Journey...

There is purpose in the journey. The destination is the dream, the completed vision, and it’s much more than what you can see right now. Your dreams and vision will grow as you travel forward, as you grow in yourself and expand as a person, as you become more aware of the journey you’re own and who’s on it with you.

A journey has to be traveled. You don’t just set out one day and arrive. There are things to see, people to meet, obstacles to overcome, plans change, there are detours, sometimes you’re flying at top speed, other times you’re walking dusty back-roads.

On the way you need to take care of yourself, nourish yourself with the right kinds of food, rest. You’ll meet people on the way, some will travel with you for a time. Some will simply encourage you with a kind word.

Plans will change. When you set out you had a specific destination. Now you’ve been on the journey and your beginning to believe in yourself more, you begin to believe for more, that you can go further and higher, and so your destination may change.

You’ll put down milestones, markers that point to an accomplishment. A hill climbed, an obstacle overcome. You will be able to look back and see just how far you’ve traveled and how it’s changed you.