Quote of the Week 22: The Only Real Time You’ve Got Is NOW

Time is a fact of life. How we use it, is the key to a happy life. The best time to live in is, of course, today. Why waste today fretting over yesterday? Move on, do what you can to correct yesterday’s mistakes. Plan tomorrow . . .

Mindfulness is for you too

This is a great quote, and it sums up beautifully exactly what mindfulness, being in the moment, is all about.

We are all time-bound. Time is a fact of my life, your life, indeed life itself. Yet very often we sail through life without making the very best use of our time. We control how we use our time.

Many people are weak of spirit, and spend huge swathes of their time in idleness, not pursuing what would be best for them.

Correct yesterday today

The quote reminds us that we live in day-tight compartments. Today is the day we live. What we did yesterday is no longer under our control. It’s over and done with, for better or worse. The quote says it’s like a “dream” because it’ no longer real any more. We look back, think what we did, or didn’t do, but we can’t do anything about it. What we did is what we did. We can’t change yesterday.

But what we can do is decide to do today what we failed to do yesterday. Why? Because today is real. It’s totally under our control. But we need to hurry up, because soon it will be tomorrow, and today will become another yesterday, and out of reach forever.

Today can teach for tomorrow

Tomorrow is nothing more than a vision, a possibility, a future that’s not under our control at all. The best we can do is decide today what we’ll do tomorrow. That’s of course if all’s well; if nothing major’s happened in the meantime. Anything could happen tomorrow, and today we are only hoping it will be OK.

All this thinking about time, and how important today is, can be summed up excellently in the ancient Latin saying: “carpe diem,” which of course means “seize the day.” In other words, grab today by the scruff of the neck and get on with what you feel is really important in your life.

Excuses? You’re better than that

Our greatest enemy in all of this is laziness and procrastination. All those things we want to do, places we want to go, people we want to see. We never quite get round to actually doing it. Yes, we can find a thousand excuses to put it off until tomorrow.

“You know what, I’m really tired now. I’ll do it tomorrow.” Even worse is the excuse of feelings: “I don’t feel like it.”  So often it’s really hard to discover what’s going on. Are you so exhausted that you really aren’t up to it? For example, this is the kind of thinking we have: “I’ll give up smoking tomorrow,” “I’ll start the diet next week,” “I’ll start my new exercise regime, when I feel a bit better.”

Or is it more like you can’t really be bothered? “I think I’ll just have a sit down for a while, chill out, watch a TV programme I’ve taped.” Next thing you know it’s two hours later, and you really don’t feel up to it any more. I know, I’ve been there myself so many times.

Fall in love with today

What’s your own take on all of this? What did you learn from yesterday; do you work with clear focus on today and what’s important; and do you decide what you’ll do tomorrow, without fail?

Your life is at the mercy of time, and how you make the best use of the time you’ve still got. Believe me, I know all about that: I’m already past 80, and I no longer have “all the time in the world.” My wife and I downsized a few years ago, worked hard planning a DIY world tour (much cheaper that way!), and we enjoyed visiting many far-flung places, before we got too old, and too ill to travel.

Anyone could do something like that. What have you often thought about doing, but never quite got round to doing it?

Make friends with today, and you’ll look back tomorrow, and rejoice in your yesterdays. Be happy!

Gerry McCann




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