What is your most ideal day? Do you know exactly how you want to live your life for the next five days, five weeks, five months, and five years? When was the last best day of your life? When is the next?
The best day of our lives is today. The past is no longer here. We cannot enjoy it any longer. To dwell on the past is to waste the opportunity to enjoy the present. The future is a promise, a time that will not come because what we have is only today. When tomorrow comes, it will not be tomorrow anymore, it becomes your today. Sounds philosophical huh? But I am not trying to sound philosophical. You cannot enjoy tomorrow unless you know how to enjoy your today.
If you were to live to thirty years more, you are going to experience 10,957 todays. Given that you have that many days to live, it is easy to waste time. But every day that passed without your notice is day cut off from your life. Your life is a day shorter every new day.
How many of these days will be invested to building relationship with your family, friends, co-workers, and the people around you? How many of these days will be invested to learning new things, to increasing your value in the society, to making a difference in the world of one person or one million people? How many of these days will be spent for knowing yourself and your God? And how many of these 10,957 days do you intend to waste with worry, anger, fear, and frustration?
Each day is a decision.
Whatever I do today is my decision. When I decided to speak with you, I have also decided not to do other things. I have chosen to be with you today. And you have chosen to be here today. You are spending one hour of your very valuable day with me. Some people plan for the future as if the future is something that you can reach by following a straight line. No, every moment is a moment of decision. There will be times that we will make bigger decisions, but we only come to these bigger decisions because of the small decisions we make at this moment.
Some people cry when they stumble. Others laugh. And there are those who pretend that nothing happened. Each action is a decision.
Do you know of people who are always late? Have you realized that these are also the same people who blame the traffic, the jeepney drivers, and the weather? Have you realized that these are the same people who complain a lot? And yes, the same people who find their days very toxic? Complaining is a decision.
Avoid the complainers. They are making their lives stressful and miserable. And they want you to feel the same. You need to accept that the way you spend your days and live your life is your responsibility. Each day is a decision whom you want to be with and what you want to do. You are the decision maker. You can choose to be happy and fruitful.
Each day is a decision to live.
Today is a gift; this is why it is called Present. How you use this day is up to you. At each new day, you decide whether to unwrap that gift, or let it stay in the corner and spoil. There are people who exist but do not live. They wake up each morning not knowing what to do. Ask them why they go to school, and they will be surprised by you asking that question. They say that's what you are supposed to do to have a good job. Ask them why they go to work, and they say because everyone goes to work. So, they go to work, spending a portion of their valuable days for work they don't want to do, with people whom they don't want be with, for a place they don't want to stay. And then they complain about being stressed. So, they attend stress management seminars and learn stress management techniques for a day. Go back to work expecting to be able to handle the stressors in the workplace. And they will be stressed further because they will find out that techniques do not work.
Stress for those who do not know why they live is suicide in slow motion. Stress for those who live with purpose energizes them. Stress reminds them to "press on".
Each day is a decision to live your ideal life.
One great tragedy of our generation is that most people do not even pause to think about life, much more of ideal life. Deep within you is the desire to live an ideal life. Again, how do you intend to live each day of your life? What are the things which are important to you?
Another favorite bible verse says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things will be given unto you." This is my guide. Every day is opportunity to seek my real purpose. To live my purpose is my ideal life. Every day is a chance to live an ideal life.
I think one of my purposes is to inspire people. I only have 24 hours each day just like that you. Shall I spend my 24 hours with any of the following:
* Blaming the government for all the ills of the society,
* Reading newspapers which sells violence and sex,
* Watch TV shows like that steals productive time,
* Being angry with greedy thick skinned politicians who smile like angels (of death?),
* Worry about clients who postponed my seminars to next year,
* Doing nothing at home.
I believe that worry and frustrations have no place in my ideal life. To truly live my purpose, I must do everything that will realize my purpose each new day. It does not take seven seconds to decide. How about you, how do you like to spend your next hour? Will it help you realize your purpose?
Seek God's purpose in your life. In every action that you need to do on a day, be clear about your purpose and everything will be clear to you. Yes, all of the things that you desire will given to you for you will only desire that which is connected to your purpose. No, life will not be easy when you live your purpose, but everything that comes your way will be clearer to you. And when things are clear to you, when you can see the horizon clearly, then you can walk on this earth with confidence.
Do you still worry about your boss getting angry with you? With your purpose clear in mind, you will realize that worrying won't make you nor your boss happy. And who says that you have to be affected by your boss's anger. You may not be able to make the day of your boss any better on that day (of course, you can always try), but you don't need to ruin your day either.
Do you still worry about angry and difficult clients? There are those who call you names. But wait, are you not in control of your life? This client is just one of the many souls you will meet on this day, or in your lifetime. Your role for today is to help this customer solve his problem. You cannot allow him to ruin your day. Remember that 99 percent of your customers come to you because of good intentions. Most of them come to you because they trust that you can help. And there are many ways you can do to help them if helping customers is part of your "ideal life".
Do you still sleep late? You hate watching that TV show until the wee hours but you do because there are no others shows. You are very tired working the whole day and now you want to comfort "relax". I don't have to counsel you. But as for me, I know that sleeping very late and watching TV half-asleep will not really help me. First, there is really no TV show or Night party which is more important than doing the things that I love doing. Second, I waste much energy when I sleep late. I wake up late and start late and finish late. This is not productive for me. So, why waste the opportunity to be at my best for something that will not really add a minute to my life, to my self-esteem, or even my value to this world.
Please do not get me wrong. I have nothing against you sleeping late specially when the night hours are your peak-energy hours. I know of some night people who are most most productive when they work late at night. I have no problem also with people who simply want to watch their favorite late night shows. But you may consider recording them so that you can watch them when you want to. I am sure there is a technology for that.
I challenge you to be clear about your purposes in life. Decide to live your ideal life.
Jef Menguin is a professional speaker based in Manila, Philippines. He designs and facilitates leadership seminars and coach corporate leaders.
His Stress for Success seminars helped thousands of leaders in the Philippines.
He maintains a blog, Everyday Leadership with Jef Menguin, which you can find here: http://jefmenguin.com/topic/everyday-leadership-blog/