Today.

Today is a great day to have a great day.

I say this almost every day and I mean it. I enjoy living the happiest best life I can each day because this day might be the last one I live. As I write this it might sound a little macabre to some but it is a true reality that we need to accept. Life is best lived today, never forget that.

Today is the day to live without fear, to stand up for what you’ve always wanted to, to start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Whatever living your fullest best life is, go for it. If you have been wanting to do start doing that immediately. If you want to start cooking new meals do your research and visit your local store to snag ingredients for a new feast. Feel like learning a new subject, google it and read a few articles and see if it truly sparks your interest and begin a deeper study of the said topic. Been wanting to run farther, lift heavier, hike to new heights, just start today little by little to work towards what you truly want. Live today for you.

Are you afraid of being happy? Do you fear to live a free life doing the things you truly want to do? Stop being afraid and start living. Is this easier said than done? Yes, we’re worried about what others think of us all too much. If others can’t see the why behind what you are doing share it with them and help them see the vision you have of your life. Hope that they can understand and then keep living your best life.

Today is the best day. Today is known as the present, and some say that today is a gift. I tend to agree with that thought.

Yesterday.

Yesterday always plays a part in who we are today because who we were yesterday determined what we are able to do today. Today’s success started with yesterdays efforts and the struggles that we were able to overcome. When I was younger I often would hear people talking about their past and the “what if’s” had they decided to stick with career x or hobby y. The echoes of yesterday with all its former glory were holding them back from a better today, and their desired tomorrow. Yesterday is in the past, we cannot change it, we can only learn from it and move forward.

Living in yesterday isn’t healthy for anyone, yesterday was a lesson we learned and today are utilizing as we go. I think about a few things I learned yesterday and have utilized today. First from work was new policies and a better understanding of the processes we need to make things work for all parties involved in a transaction. At home, I refreshed my technique for making yellow coconut curry and a better balance of water to coconut milk in the simmering phase of the dish’s preparation. While I was at the climbing gym I practiced a few routes that I am hoping to send in the coming weeks and found better hand and foot placement for balance as I climb. These are all valuable lessons for the next time I work with someone on policy at work, invite friends over for curry, and send those routes I was practicing. All great lessons learned yesterday to benefit me in the future.

If you messed up yesterday let it stay in yesterday if you can. If its a small oops leave it there stop dwelling on the things you cannot change and work towards the things you can. We all have those experiences that have weighed us down and that we sometimes think back to with embarrassment and hope that someone else doesn’t remember it. Most of the time you are the only one who remembers those moments and it’s best for every one of you forget them too.

Yesterday was great, wasn’t it? Yesterday was a learning experience, so today lace up your shoes and use what you’ve learned to do great things.

Weak.

I recently started climbing again after just over a year of not climbing, re-entering my local climbing gym I figured that I could pick back up where I left off. Thinking that my fitness was fairly decent and my ability was still there I proceeded to flail around for an hour on routes that I easily climbed just a year before, my hand hurt, my shoulder ached, and my muscles all begged me to give them a rest. I continued to walk around the gym looking for routes to send, I ended up sending less than half of my attempted routes but still felt accomplished to be back in the gym climbing even if I was weaker than I thought I was.

After finishing my workout in the gym I drove home a little down about my climbing I thought about how nice it was to be going again. The thought of the different routes and moves needed to send(climb) them allowed me to recognize that today I was a weak climber, but next session I would be stronger and be able to send more routes.  This is how we get better at the things we enjoy, we keep showing up to learn more, get better, and be stronger as we participate in our passion.

It’s a hard thing to admit weakness because once we admit that we are others will capitalize on that weakness and try and bring us down. Not a great thought when you are thinking about being vulnerable, can people use my truth against me? Sadly this is a reality, there are people who want to bring us down either to their level or below. Understanding this as a possibility as we go is an opportunity for each of us to become stronger by accepting what we can’t change and investing our time into strengthening the things we can change.

Whatever your weakness is accept it then move forward and fortify and strengthen what you can and become the best you can be. I may not be the strongest climber on the wall, but I will send any route I put my mind to, working from bottom to top relentlessly until I reach my desired destination at the top of the route.

Encouragement.

Why is it beneficial to be encouraging of others in their day to day tasks? I’m not talking about their specific work or school-related assignments but the little things they do every day that makes our lives a little better. Think of your friend who smiles at you when you are having a tough day. Think about those challenging days when a parent offered encouragement and reassurance that you could make big things happen if you put your mind to it. This is what the world needs a little more encouragement towards better things and a little less weight behind negativity.

It starts with me. A better world starts on a personal level more trust in others, a better believe that people are generally good, and a little more effort to listen to each other.  Sounds pretty easy right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds to trust others when we hear all the bad that could, has or is happening around us. It’s a challenge to see others as good when we lie to each other and even ourselves about the reality of the situations we live in daily. It’s hard to listen when we want to be heard, to be recognized, to be understood. We want so much from others but are at times unwilling to give to those we want to listen. Three simple steps to a better world that sound so easy, but are so hard to commit to.

Acknowledging that we can change the world in three steps is encouraging and a direction we can all get behind. If you start to look outward at what you can give to others you’ll see more easily all that others are giving to you. Life is a great maze that we all navigate a few feet at a time, why not be brave enough to trust others to help us forward, speak good words to each other, and listen a little better to those who need to be heard.

So who agrees that it starts with me?

Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.

Passion.

I know that I’ve referred to Anthony Bourdain a few times over the past weeks as someone who lived a life that inspired me to get out there and be a better human. To get out there and find what connects us by sharing a meal, and talking about real issues that have impacts on the way each of us lives daily around the world. I recently started reading his book Kitchen Confidential and have learned about the experience that jumpstarted his passion for food and culture.

He talks about a summer spent visiting France visiting family, sampling new foods, and immersing his young self in a culture other than his own. He talked about his youthful attitude for testing the rules and his parent’s patience as they traveled around the country as a young family. The defining moment that eventually steered him towards a career in the culinary world, eating an oyster fresh from the ocean on a Frenchmans boat. That was the moment he knew that food was his future and he would eat near anything anywhere in the world. From here he became a chef, writer, and travel documentary maker each of his different professional ventures around food showed the world the flavors that connected us.

In my humble opinion, he lived a life that the “most interesting man in the world” could envy. He taught us how to be less afraid of what we don’t know, to live with others, to live with passion. That is something few of us can say they do well, living each day with a genuine passion for life and its twists and turns. Why are we afraid to follow our passions? Are we afraid of the unknown? Are we afraid to take the route that’s a little more exciting but a little less safe?

Living life with a passion for what we do daily sounds like a challenge for us common folk who work 9-5 jobs that we use to pay the bills just to get by. These jobs may not be our ideal / dream careers but they are a segue to bigger and better things ahead as long as you play your cards right and be invested in what you are doing at that time. Have passion in the little things so as you work to bigger things your passion shines through in full.

Procrastination.

I am a great procrastinator; perhaps you relate. Since I started writing this tonight I have gone out for some food, played with my dog, watched a few clips on the internet and attempted to write. Procrastination has been something I’ve been good at my entire life, I have been great at holding off doing my daily chores, my school work, and many other things. I don’t think I do this out of complete avoidance of accomplishing the tasks at hand, I think I do it because I’m interested in going in so many different directions at once.

We are fortunate to live in a time where there is open access to almost everything. Curious about a current event, sports statistic, video on how to _____? Just google it right? Endless information that is fighting for our attention that divides our abilities to focus on the tasks that need to be done leading to more procrastination, rushed efforts, and often sloppy unfinished tasks. As a procrastinator, I have joked many times that I’ll get my act together, tomorrow.

This mindset hurts no one but myself and can harm the opportunities that come my way in the future. I’ve had to learn that while working on projects I have to remain focused on the task at hand, not multitasking trying to do everything at once. A previous employer once told me that I was good at doing everything and needed to learn how to better manage my time to accomplish everything that was required of me. That hurt, so I started working with a list that has helped me accomplish more, and not waste time doing things that don’t matter.

Finding a way to accomplish your needs to the day with a schedule that fits your daily routine best can be a challenge working through all the fluff we let ourselves get sucked into. Try and find your most productive hours and schedule the tasks that need to be completed the quickest during those hours. During those hours put down your distractions and try and exercise a little self-control until the tasks are completed. Find your rhythm and let your efforts show through the quality of the tasks you complete during this time.

Is being a procrastinator the worst thing? Not at all. Is understanding how procrastination can hurt your opportunities to grow on a personal and professional level a necessary realization? Yes, understanding this can allow you to find a way to best utilize your skillset and focus your energy on the most important tasks and showcase your talent to those who are watching for it.

To those who are prone to procrastination, I say start today.