Today is my dog’s second birthday. It’s bittersweet, because as I mentioned in this post my last dog died the day before her tenth birthday. Birthdays, like New Year’s Eve, also remind me that life is fleeting and none of us know how much time we will be given. We can plan for the future, but there are no guarantees. All we have is today.
With this in mind, there are two vital components to getting as much as you can out of this one day you have been given:
- Gain as much pleasure as you can from today
- Take action towards achieving your long-term goals
The specific tasks you undertake will depend on your current situation. When you are depressed, it’s hard to find any pleasure in life so you may only get 30 seconds of pleasure from stroking a pet or smelling a rose. That’s great — it’s pleasure you may not have otherwised gained. If you have anxiety, taking action towards your goals may involve simply finding out whether there is an online course available in the subject you wish to study. That’s an important step and it doesn’t matter if someone else would have applied for the course straight away whereas you feel too anxious to take such a step; you are basing your actions on your own specific situation.
These teo components, pleasure and action, sound simple but simple isn’t synonymous with easy. You may need to remind yourself of them every day, perhaps by keeping a note stuck next to your mirror or setting an alarm on your phone. Procrastinating does nobody any favours. If you defer all tasks until you are in a different situation or feel better, you may spend all your life waiting.
For me, the nature and scope of tasks relating to pleasure and action can vary on a day to day basis. On my good days, I might aim to draft a short story or submit a few pieces of writing; other days, my sole aim could be to just read a page pf a book. Obviously I want to progress over the long-term, but I have to adjust my intentions every day. Today is all I have: my current mood, my current situation, my current life. All you have is today, so make the most of it.