Do you ever marvel at the brevity of deeply powerful concepts?
Heh…maybe it’s just me. But sometimes, on days when I’m wrestling with writing, it seems like it takes so many words to say something that matters. And then so much editing to work it down into something cohesive and solid.
And yet – the ideas that have changed my life are always concise. Sometimes ridiculously so. Short. Simple. But deep enough to keep me pondering for – well, a lifetime.
Last week, I came across a very brief sentence – one that really doesn’t seem all that complex. One I’ve heard before. One that pretty much just states the obvious.
The sort you tend to ignore.
Except that sometimes, those pithy little statements – gotta love them – act sort of like tripwires, don’t they?
So small, so seemingly insignificant. But just a brush up against it – just the right stimulus – and– well. Reaction extraordinaire.
Sometimes we really need a tripwire of a thought to wham us into next Tuesday – or at the very least, give us a shove in the right direction.
My last-week-tripwire-of-a-thought was simple. Simple and repetitive, because it kept coming up in books and sermons and my own mind on repeat until there was no way to forget it.
Yes, concise. To the point. Children’s-book easy.
But like a stone dropped into a canyon, that thought kept echoing through last week and this one. Every day, just a whisper –
Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We’re defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.Jocko Willink
I heard a quote once to the effect that if the purposeful life is made up of years, which are made up of months, and days, and seconds, then how you live these next seconds actually matters deeply in the living of a purposeful life.
And it’s so easy to get sidetracked today, isn’t it? Even if it runs counter to what we really want, we justify small behaviors today with the idea that we’ll do better tomorrow. And when the sun comes up, we’re no closer to those goals or dreams than we were the last time it rose.
But what if – what if we really lived life like today mattered?
What if we remembered that our small choices to be strong and courageous today build a strong and courageous life?
What if we actually lived in light of the truth that all the little decisions we make do, in fact, add up into big consequences?
Let’s be real – we’d probably hit the gym more often. 🙂
On a more serious note, though, it’d also be easier to face the future.
Sometimes, standing as I am with so much of life yet in front of me, I wonder how on earth I’m going to actually achieve all the goals and dreams hidden deep in my heart.
Sometimes, watching my loved ones or myself get stronger through some kind of hardship, I wonder how on earth I’ll handle everything that this life will hold.
Sometimes, looking ahead at all the unknowns I face, I wonder how on earth I’ll be wise enough to detangle the mess without making too many massive mistakes.
Do you do that too? Cast your vision so far out in front of you that the amount of life you bring back into your little boat seems vastly overwhelming?
what if you reeled it all back in this week to the simple idea that today matters? One single right choice is so much less overwhelming than a thousand right choices, yet we tend to focus on the thousand instead of on the one that’s right under our noses.
So. What’s your yes for today?
- Write that chapter, today?
- Make that one ridiculously uncomfortable call today?
- Choose health, be it mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual, today?
- Be available, today?
Or something totally different? I don’t know what it looks like to make your “today” matter. But that’s okay, because you do.
You don’t have to solve all your future problems, or hit all your goals, or become incredibly courageous, all at once.
Just treat today like it matters. Do the right thing today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
And when the sun comes up, and you’re that much closer toward your goal, don’t forget to celebrate. Because today matters, and today is always a good day for a little joy. 🙂