One of my all-time favorite motivational quotes is: “I WILL do today what others WON’T so that I CAN do tomorrow what others CAN’T.” What does that mean? Think about it a moment. It means that what we do today can either help us prepare to make greater accomplishments tomorrow or we can do less (or nothing) and be less prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. With that in mind, the potential of “tomorrow” can be motivation for today, or it can be consolation depending on how the day works out. All too often, though, tomorrow is used as an excuse NOT to accomplish something today.
Let’s take a look at tomorrow as motivation first. What might come your way that you need to be prepared for? Or what can you do today that might make your tomorrow easier or more enjoyable? A couple reasonably easy things come to mind, the first of which is your health. You can do several things today that can help your health tomorrow and every day thereafter. You can eat a little cleaner. You can exercise. You can reduce the toxins you take in (alcohol, nicotine, etc.). Doing some of that may seem difficult today, but if you discipline yourself to do them then when tomorrow is today it’ll be easier… and that effect is cumulative. The more you do it, the easier it gets and before long it’s not only a habit but it’s an addiction. Think about that: being addicted to good healthy habits that constantly improve your quality of life. How bad can that be? But the first step is disciplining yourself to make those changes TODAY.
What else might happen tomorrow that you can prepare for or improve your chances of surviving today? ANYTHING. We never know what challenges and changes tomorrow might bring. If we go into the day already overloaded with stress, not enough sleep, improper nutrition, bad health because of bad habits, then we are hurting our chances of dealing with whatever the changes and challenges are. Our goal should be to go into tomorrow refreshed, calm and healthy in our heads, hearts and souls.
Now, what happens if we drop that ball today, we don’t discipline ourselves and we don’t eat right, exercise, etc.? Well, that’s when tomorrow offers a second chance. Be honest with yourself and if YOU or circumstances beyond your control prevented you from accomplishing the proper tasks today, then accept that tomorrow will bring a new day. It’ll be a day you can go into determined and committed to make the corrections you need, take the actions that are required and succeed in doing what’s necessary to make the day AFTER tomorrow a better day.
There is some comfort to be found in that outlook as well. If today is especially bad for any reason, tomorrow WILL offer another chance and the opportunity for a better day. The largest majority of us have no reason to think, when we lay down our heads and night fall asleep, that we won’t wake up in the morning. With that in mind, if you didn’t reach your goals or maintain your discipline today, tomorrow IS another chance.
That said, if you repeatedly think of tomorrow as a second chance then you’re not using it as a second chance: you’re using it as an excuse. If you’re using it as an excuse then you’re not accomplishing anything except being dishonest with yourself. Of all the people in the world you can lie to and have it impact your life, lying to yourself is the biggest, worst lie (about anything) you can tell.
Never lie to yourself. No matter how ugly the truth may be about what you did or didn’t do today and why, just face it. Determine to be better tomorrow and do what you can with what’s left of today to prepare for that. ANYTHING you accomplish today to do better tomorrow is a good thing, no matter how small or minor it may seem. Then, when tomorrow gets here… when you open your eyes in the morning, face it with honesty and determination. Do better. Be better. Do it each day and watch it snowball.
What will you do today that others won’t that will prepare you to do something tomorrow that others won’t be able to?