I was listening to John Maxwell’s introduction to his book Today Matters the other day. As always, I was stunned by the simplicity of his message, which was around how we evaluate our successes on a day-to-day basis.
- We exaggerate yesterdays: We do this all time, don’t we? In fact, at times we also over-exaggerate about the good old times when we used to be greater than who we are right now. Or perhaps, those golden years when things were so much better. The reality, however, is there’s no better time to be alive than today and there’s no better place we would be than where we are right now. And honestly, the past wasn’t as great as you think of it.
- We overestimate tomorrows: Imagine you’re not “feeling it” today but are determined that tomorrow you’re going to conquer the world! You’re going to give your 150 percent! And then tomorrow comes. The best you would do is a 50 percent, which is a 100 less. Now, what are the odds that you would swing a 250 percent (100 from today + 150 for tomorrow) tomorrow?
- We underestimate today: For some weird reason, nobody pays much attention to the day we have at our hands. Hello? And before we realise it, we’re in bed checking for updates, messages, or the news/stories before calling it a day. The whole day went by reminiscing about the good old days or worrying about that 150 percent you’re going to put in tomorrow or! Now today is on the edge of tomorrow!
You see where I’m going with this? It’s a never ending cycle. The big question is this — how effective it is to focus our energies on the days we don’t have any control over? How does reliving your past make anything better today? What could really change today that would help you put in a 150% tomorrow in the first place? But wait, you’ve got to be present today and utilise it better to make anything happen, right?
I think John summed it up the best, “our success is determined by our daily agenda.” Not by our past, not by our plans for tomorrow, but today. So, make the most of it!