Have you been meaning to change something about you, your mindset, your lifestyle, for what seems like forever? Deep inside you know that in order to take your health, happiness or productivity to the next level you need to cut back on late-night TV, your coffee, weed or wine consumption. Perhaps you’re craving mind-expanding experiences in the form of traveling, learning Spanish or to tango, all while making new friends? Whatever it is you tell yourself you’ll get to it soon, usually “tomorrow”. Tomorrow you’ll start feeding your body, mind and soul the nourishment they crave. “Tomorrow” comes in various forms: next week, when summer’s over, for the new year, when I have more time (ha!), more money, a place to myself, when this work project is all wrapped up. You get the idea. Somewhere in the future. But may I ask: if you look back six months, a year or two, haven’t you been waiting for that perfect future time to act for a while already? How about we turn this around? How about every moment is a perfect moment to take action and it’s been waiting for YOU (to show up)?! But you’ve been so future-oriented, so busy making lists about what you’ll do when [fill in the blanks] that you’ve missed a most important fact: tomorrow never comes. That’s right. Because when tomorrow comes, well…it’s now! Hence, change is now or never.
That is what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said “The future depends on what we do in the present.” In other words the choices you make today will alter, create, evolve your so-called future. So-called because when that future comes it will be a present experience. There’s no escaping that fact! Each now moment a perfect expression (however imperfect it may feel to you, subjectively) of all the choices you’ve made leading up to it, each one of them made in the now, of course. Hope I’m not losing you with all my riffing on now-ing!
Embedded in the “Tomorrow I’ll change” mindset is another subtle impediment to change. And that is the belief that tomorrow I’ll do this one thing and I’ll be set. Yet most changes we aspire to make in our lives are rarely one action step away. Whether it’s improving our diet, broadening our circle of friends, quitting smoking, deep, lasting shifts often require a series of action steps. As the saying goes:
The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step (Lao Tzu)
And I assure you, that one step you will not take tomorrow. Because tomorrow never comes. And so we’re back to where we started. Change is now or never.
So this is it. Things will not get better in the “future”! Things can only get better now. To get this is actually more uplifting than it sounds. It means that whatever you did or didn’t do, well it’s no more anyway so do yourself a favor and drop the past, grudges, guilt and all. It means that however out of whack your current state of affairs, you can re-orient your trajectory intentionally in a direction of your liking, and you can do so now. In fact you can ONLY do so now! Each moment a clean-slate, an opportunity to create anew.
So what’s the change you’ve been postponing making for too long? And what’s the one step you can take today that’ll get you going in that direction? For me it’s been managing my energy better, which starts with eating better, which starts with eating at home and cooking from scratch. So what was my first step? Food shopping! Done. Been cooking at home for the past week and there’s no question that not only my belly, but my mind too, feel more settled. I feel grounded, able to focus better and accomplish more. And it all began with one step: shopping for food. Which I’ll have to do tomorrow again 🙂
I’d love to know what’s your one step for today. Go to the comment section below, share away and let’s inspire each other!
Here’s to now xo