The Gift Of Today

“Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.”

~Leo Buscaglia

For many of us, September 11 is a date etched deeply in memory. Yesterday marked sixteen years since more than 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC.  It seems as good a time as any to reflect on the gift of today.

Planning and time management are celebrated concepts in our achievement oriented society. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – most of us would agree that goal setting and being organized greatly enhance our professional and personal contentment. The trouble is we tend to spend so much time planning for the future that we risk missing out on the great moments appearing in front of us. This is sad, because we don’t know how many more moments we will be fortunate to experience.

You can’t live in the present, and experience all the joy and zest life has to offer, if you’re constantly planning for the next stage.  It brings to mind Dr. Doolittle’s “pushmi-pullyu”, the animal with a head at either end of its body which attempts to walk in two directions at once.

The present is the only moment in time you can control.  You can choose to enjoy it or despise it, waste it, capitalize on it or ignore it completely. Whatever you decide, the fact is that there’s no guarantee on the total number of moments you get, so take full advantage of the one you’re in right now.  It doesn’t mean you should stop setting goals – by all means make plans when necessary, just not at the expense of the life you’re living now.

As the familiar quote goes, Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

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