“Many miss the hidden treasures of their current state focusing either on the expired worth of yesterday or the promises of tomorrow.” This is an excerpt from a new book I’m releasing next year called The Gospel of Opportunity. In it, I share from my years of coaching and training the wisdom it takes to capitalize your ‘Now’ seasons of life. Isn’t it interesting that most of us spend the bulk of our lives frustrated over yesterday or fearful about tomorrow? I believe that’s because we rarely see the value of now!
Ask yourself this important question, “How much am I really paying attention to right now?” Our society, with all of its technology and strides forward have become known around the world as the most medicated, anxious and fretful group of people. In fact, we lead amongst what is called first world countries. It makes you wonder how this happened and even more vital, how to remedy it.
While speaking with some collogues about this very thing, I began to notice a pattern. As a whole, our nation has become easily pacified. We tend to let ourselves off the hook of accountability with thoughts of how it was or how it will be. But never addressing how it is in the now. This inoculates our drive and hunger to possess today and make it great. As one of the most quoted Latin aphorisms, Carpe diem has circled the globe as a rally cry for those ready to “Seize the day.” As I looked closer at this phraseology, I found it means much more.
According to Horace, it is only a portion of a longer meaning.”Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero” and is fully translated to mean “Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)”. In other words, the future is never certain and we should not leave things to chance. What we should be doing is living every second of every day to the fullest. So the contemporary youth of today aren’t too far off when they’re heard saying YOLO (You Only Live Once) But to be clear, neither Horace or I am advocating living a reckless lifestyle in the name of seizing the day, but rather not to trust that everything is going to fall into place for you and taking action for the future today.
Now that you know the present moment is of vital importance, here are a few things you can do to seize it:
• Recognize every moment is an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate; may I add, especially the tough times. Look at it like this, no matter what transpired in the past, it has served a higher purpose to get you to this moment. So it was a gift. And no matter what happens later, you only have real power over your ‘Now’. Don’t squander it complaining or worrying.
• Strive to live life from a place of progress not perfection. Nothing keeps us more bound than the unachievable lie of perfection. I am not saying we should not seek excellence in what we do. But we cannot live on the endless treadmill of perfectionism. It sucks the life out of our dreams because we never seem to be enough.
• Embrace the process of life. I love the word process because it means a series of operations that produce a finished product. Here’s the deal, we are in the process because we are being developed. Trust me, what you’re going through will not defeat you it will help define you!
What opportunities are you leaving on the table because you are too focused on the past or the future? It may mean learning to balance them with what is happening now. My mother used to tell me “Son, the past is a cashed check, tomorrow is a promised payment. All you have is today.” After years of banging my head against the brick wall I am finally settling in that all I can really control is what’s happening to me now.