What do you consider to be a successful day? Making it through with no major mishaps? Getting caught up at work? Having time to relax and enjoy yourself?
You’ve likely heard the saying to live each day as if it were your last, but how realistic is that? Odds are that we will live to pay the consequences the next day, whether that be a huge credit card bill, cleaning up a mess literally or figuratively, or feeling sore from too much fun.
Like many things in life, this requires a happy medium state of being. We can’t all afford to go crazy and do everything we want to do today. But what about taking baby steps to get to that point, or simply doing one or two things here and there that really make us and/or someone else happy?
I really began living and embracing things around me when I made a focused effort to continually step out of my bubble and tried to look in from the outside.
Take a moment here and there to listen to people, really listen to them. You will likely be horrified at others’ words and actions. You will hear things like:
“Why did you give the good cans of food to the food drive? I wanted to give away things that were in the cupboard for a while.”
“I would like to do that too; I just can’t.”
“I don’t have time to listen to my friend’s problems.”
“You have all of the luck.”
“That person is weird. Why can’t he wear normal clothes?”
These statements are from people who are just going through the motions. And I personally witnessed every one of them – some when people knew I heard them; others when they did not.
I’m the first to admit I have said things like this in the past, but now that I’ve started listening to others say these things, I think a little more before uttering nonsense.
I want to be that person who gives freely, loves deeply, and truly enjoys life. I often do things I don’t want to do, like working for the man for a paycheck, but that’s just a means to an end. I make the best of the workday while pursuing other avenues that will hopefully result in financial freedom in the future.
Making your day count isn’t just about the to do list in front of you. It’s a state of mind and a world view. Do things that will have a positive impact on others. Be productive, but don’t cut off those whom you love and who need you the most. If you are gone tomorrow, no one will care if your sink is full of dirty dishes. But your friend will remember the last conversation you had.
And never underestimate a seemingly small, kind gesture. Your kindness may be the ray of sunshine a stranger needed to get through the day. Whether it’s smiling and saying hi to someone who may be a bit scary looking, or simply holding the door open for the next person in line, you can bet it will make you and the other person both feel good.
One of my newest focuses is to show more appreciation and respect toward others who have a positive impact on me. Whether it’s with a verbal thank you, a card, or a referral, I love being able to thank others who bring a ray of sunshine into my life here and there.
At the end of my day, I really, really try to measure the worth of my day by my gut feeling, not the number of items checked off my lifeless to do list. It’s a daunting challenge, but we should all be up for it.
“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.” ~Jean de La Bruyère