September 17


Today's quotation:

Do, each day, all that can be done that day.  You don’t need to overwork-- or to rush blindly into your work, trying to do the greatest possible number of things in the shortest possible amount of time.  Don’t try to do tomorrow’s – or next week’s – work today.  It’s not so much the number of the things you do but the quality, the efficiency of each separate action that counts. . . . you need only to succeed in the small tasks of each day.  This makes a successful day.  With enough of these, you have a successful week, month, year – and lifetime.

Earl Nightingale

Today's Meditation:

It's always important to me to see things as smaller pieces of a bigger picture.  For any great accomplishment, many smaller pieces had to be finished in order to prepare the way for the desired finish.  When I keep this in mind, I'm not too hard on myself for not finishing the big things-- rather, I'm content to do well a number of the small things, and life becomes a lot easier for me.

I have several tasks that I'd like to get done today.  On most days, I make a list of those tasks and do my best to finish them all by the end of the day.  My list never says anything like "clean the house."  I'll write on my list that I need to clean one or two rooms, and once I do that, I move on to the next thing.  Then my list for tomorrow or next week will include cleaning a room or two more, and soon the whole house is clean.  But I haven't burdened myself with a task that's pretty much impossible for me or that would take the whole day.  I've broken the large job into several smaller tasks, and that way I'm able to do the smaller tasks better and not get fed up with the big job.

Sometimes I have great weeks without ever stressing myself out by trying to accomplish too much.  After all, one day I'm going to die, and I'm pretty sure that when that happens, I'm not going to rue not having spent more time doing tasks and getting things accomplished.  When that time comes, I'm going to be more grateful for having spent more time with loved ones, going for long walks, and for having done my best to enjoy this life I've been given.  I'll be glad for the time I've spent reading books and learning, and not necessarily for the time I've spent getting things done-- many of which end up not being nearly as important as they might have seemed at first.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things can you do to prioritize what you do and when you do it?

Is it better to do a few small things well, or one large task not as well?

What happens to us when we get hurried and overwhelmed with work?

For further thought:

As yesterday is history, and tomorrow may never come, I have resolved from this day on, I will do all the business I can honestly, have all the fun I can reasonably, do all the good I can willingly, and save my digestion by thinking pleasantly.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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