The mythical place we keep our dreams, this fantasy land called “tomorrow” – is a diversion we have to train ourselves to avoid and conquer.
Have you ever found yourself wishing you had more time to do what you wanted to do with your life? Do you often find yourself making big plans to turn over a new leaf “tomorrow” – but “tomorrow” never seems to show up? Do your birthdays seem to come much faster every year?
Time is slippery. We let it get away from us when we believe in the myth of “tomorrow.” Goals in the distance are incredibly important, but only so we can extrapolate down to the steps directly in front of our feet. We love Superman because he can fly right up to the peak without hindrance; he doesn’t have to take the small steps. Many of us are great at envisioning the peak and wanting desperately to get there; but the real super men are the ones who have a strong enough vision to get up and hike each day in the right direction, knowing the peak will be there when they are ready. It takes real guts to see the baby steps and commit to the journey.
Forgetting the myth and living each “today” is empowering. How do we go from believing the myth to debunking it?
I’ll continue to use the hiking metaphor. Envision that peak, place it on your map (don’t forget to place yourself on the map), decide on a path or direction, and then forget about the peak and follow the path in front of you each day. If you’ve done a good job of defining your path to a well envisioned peak, your only task is to walk each day. Forgetting the peak is like forgetting “tomorrow” – which takes the daunting nature out of the long journey and allows for a simpler existence. Say this out loud, “there is no tomorrow… I’m going to live today in a big way.” Feels good, right?
Now, along the path are the factors that affect us (positively or negatively) – health, money, relationships, etc. It is very important to keep the positive influences on the path; and equally important to shed the weight that keeps you from moving forward each day.
Right now, decide what you spend time on each day that is irrelevant to your main purpose. Is it a video game, bad television, politics, sports news, your fantasy sports team, a dramatic relationship or friendship, your phone, drinking, smoking, drugs, or maybe a long commute? See if you can take a 48 hour break from it. This break from your habit may afford you time take a step toward your vision TODAY. If it feels good, it’s probably good for you – so see if you can take another break of 72 hours next week… you get the picture.
As you near your peak, you will likely find another peak in the distance – this is a sure sign that you are on the right path. Our purpose reveals itself in layers. If you found out today that the end goal was Everest, you’d probably be too daunted to start. Fortunately, we don’t see that peak first. We see the attainable stretch goal in front of us; and then if/when we reach it we decide we’re ready for the next level that we weren’t even aware of at the beginning of the journey.
So what is your next peak? Ask yourself what can you do TODAY, like right this minute, to move in that direction. I hope you will forget about the myth of “tomorrow” and commit to the reality of NOW.
Photo by Dale Thomas Vaughn