4 “Notes To Self” That Will Stop You From Taking Today For Granted

“May you actually live every day of your life.”
— Jonathan Swift

I recently received an email from a young “Think Better, Live Better 2020” digital ticket attendee named Kaarina that nearly brought me to tears. And after exchanging a few heartfelt replies back and forth with her, she graciously gave me permission to share the opening lines of her initial email:

“I’m dying of cancer (Lymphoma) at age 21. I was sent home from the hospital for my final weeks over 32 weeks ago. But now I’m back at the hospital being treated again, because my doctors believe there is renewed hope.”

Right now it seems a miracle is taking place in Kaarina’s life. I pray this miracle continues to transpire. And I’m also grateful for the reminder Kaarina has given me. Our lives are fleeting, and the best day to fight for the right to live is today — by taking small, positive steps forward on a purposeful path.

Truth be told, everything you want to do takes daily practice. Whether it means learning to dance by practicing dancing or learning to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each case, it’s about dedicating yourself to a precise set of daily acts, both mental and physical, that drive a sense of achievement, meaning, and satisfaction of the inner spirit. You become, in some way, an athlete of Life itself. Because you practice, over and over again, in the face of all obstacles, and you grow stronger and more capable with each action you take.

“Notes to Self” for Making Today Count

As Mae West so profoundly said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Remind yourself to not take today for granted. Remind yourself to live well — to make this day count! How? There are so many little things you can do that are unique to your specific life situation, but here are some general guiding principles — or “Notes to Self” — that I discussed with Kaarina in our recent email exchange. I’m hoping this short list gives you something positive to work on…

1. Keep your mind open to new possibilities and experiences.

As they say, a ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. Accepting some level of risk in life is important. You cannot be both close-minded and moving forward. You have to open up to the unknown. You have to keep an open mind.

Close-minded people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it’s the…

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