March 5

Today's quotation:

Let every dawn of morning be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close:—then let every one of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others—some goodly strength or knowledge gained for yourselves.

John Ruskin

Today's Meditation:

One of the most important lessons that I've learned in life is how to break big jobs down into smaller tasks in order to make them more manageable.  If I think about writing an entire novel, for example, the task seems to be an incredibly daunting one.  If I think about writing scenes that take about three or four pages to complete, though, and they all fit together to make a larger whole, then it's much easier for me.  Think about a two-hour movie--it's composed of scenes that last thirty seconds to two minutes, usually; no one films an entire two hours in one take.  It would be simply impossible.

If I think about my life as a whole, it becomes overwhelming.  If I think about today--what I need to do and when I need to do it--things become much simpler.  If I think about trying to be kind for the rest of my life, I don't see how that can be done except in very general terms.  If I think about how I can be kind today, I can think of very specific ways that I can accomplish that goal.  And if I think about what I can do today to learn something new and potentially important, that, too, is do-able by reading a good article or part of a very good book that will teach me, or even by having a good conversation with someone who knows more than I (which is almost everyone!).

You have a short lifespan ahead of you on this day.  What will you do with it?  Is it manageable?  If you think of very specific things that you want to do with this day, I'm sure that you can make them happen.  You can compliment someone you rarely compliment, you can encourage someone you normally don't encourage.  You can watch a good documentary or read a good article.  You can take a lovely, vigorous walk and treat yourself to something nice.

We can only live our moments, not our years, and our days are full of moments that are just waiting to be used well, in ways that are fulfilling and wonderful.  What will you do with your today?

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people focus on "life goals" and neglect their "day goals"?

What kinds of things can you do today to make your day brighter and more fulfilling--and to add quality to someone else's day?

Why is it easier to complete tasks well when we break them down into smaller jobs?

For further thought:

Always begin anew with the day, much as nature does; it is one of the sensible things that nature does.

George E. Woodberry

more thoughts and ideas on today



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