24 Hours From Now - Part 1

“Ripples and a reflection in the water at CosmoCaixa Barcelona” by Biel Morro on Unsplash

There was a time in my early 40's when all I could do was hope that tomorrow would be better than today.

When your life is not going as planned, when you can’t figure out where you went wrong and you feel powerless to do anything about it, then waiting for the promise of a new day seems like the best option.

Let’s just get today done with.

But that’s a dangerous way to live, putting our life on hold as we let another today slip by. One more precious day turns into another forgotten yesterday.

That ‘Carpe Diem’ thing

We’ve heard that today is a gift, and we should learn to make the most of it. Of all the life-lessons I’ve found the most empowering in the past 7 years, Carpe Diem — to seize hold of this amazing, unique thing we call today, is near the top of the list.

But what I’ve found is that it’s not about adopting some age-old mantra to magically transform your life. And it’s not about living for the moment. If that were the case then I would simply spend all day enjoying myself and leave my future in the hands of the gods.

I would exist in a bubble, unattached to either yesterday or tomorrow.

In fact Carpe Diem can shape our future: just as we are products of our past to a large extent, we can begin to positively influence our tomorrows by seizing the day. It calls us to live in the moment, fully conscious of the weight of our decisions and actions, and how they affect not just today, but our tomorrow as well.

When you live in the moment your todays don’t just fade into memory. You’ve done something to make a difference, made a ripple in the pond. And as the new day dawns you’ll be feeling the effects of those ripples in everything you do. That’s exciting. That’s transforming. That’s how we make today count towards our dreams. One day at a time. Towards our future.

In my experience, if you have dreams of a better life then there is never any real substitute for action. The intelligent, intentional action that causes ripples. So no more waiting around for things to get better, OK? That doesn’t work. Take it from me, I know.

That’s where I was at, in my early 40’s — waiting. And hoping.

Life before Today

I knew that someday, based on the law of averages, things would get better. I knew that if I kept my head down, bearing up against all that life could throw at me, then eventually I’d come through, I’d see daylight, and there, waiting for me at the end of the tunnel in a golden glow, would be my dreams…

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

There was a problem. A big problem. Every day seemed to trickle through my fingers like sand, and as the years passed by and my dreams never appeared any closer, little by little I lost hope.

The golden glow faded to damp fog. I became resigned to my fate.

It took one question to change everything. One simple but powerful thought about my future. I asked myself this:

“If I don’t change now, where am I going to be 5 years down the road?”

What I envisioned — regret and disappointment — was enough to jolt me back to reality: I had to do something, and fast.

The good news is that eventually, after some years of reading, learning and trying to figure things out myself, I could begin to see that my life was changing course. I started to notice that I was more positive about the future, that I’d started to dream again, and that I could begin to see over the edge of the rut I’d been walking in for so very long.

But I still hadn’t come to a point where I could truly appreciate the value of a day. And I had no idea about those ripples.

This is the one thing I would tell myself if I could go back in time.

Learn to appreciate the gift of today.

Because 24 hours from now you’ll be feeling the effects of it. And it’s going to make all the difference.

So then, over to you. Want to start seizing the day with more purpose and direction? Find out more about the Making Today Count program...