We exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and ultimately, underestimate today. The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow.
Today Matters by John C. Maxwell, addresses this problem with daily disciplines. These disciplines are categorized by the 12 concepts(aka The Daily Dozen) of attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values and growth.
- Attitude: Choose and display the right attitude daily.
- Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
- Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
- Family: Communicate with and care for your family daily.
- Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
- Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
- Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily.
- Faith: Deepen and live out your faith daily.
- Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
- Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.
- Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.
- Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily.
Each chapter is devoted to one of the concepts listed above and includes a description, thoughts for reflection and exercises. There are many inspirational stories and fun facts to keep the book interesting and to make these concepts more applicable to real world situations.
Throughout each chapter the author gives examples on how to embrace the values he discuss. If you don’t have your own core value set that you base your life off of, then some of these might be a good starting point for you to consider investing your time and energy into.
”By making today great, you can make your life great, because when you take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Sometimes we become depressed thinking about the past and mistakes we have committed in life. There are many lessons we learn late in our life. For example, the importance of maintaining work-life balance, the art of listening and giving more value to health rather than wealth. Moreover, we feel like going back in time to rectify our mistakes.
A Quora thread  has shared some lessons we should learn early in life so that we do not regret later on. Here are my top 20 from the thread:
- Simple is good.
- It’s all about the relationships. There is nothing more important to each person than themselves. Tap into that. Do good for others and the world will be your oyster. For us introverts, we’ve gotta work a bit harder. The above quote from Maya Angelou summarizes why this is so important:
- People are far more important than any other thing in your life. No hobby, interest, book, work is going to be as important to you as the people you spend time with as you get older.
- Time passes much more quickly than you realize.
- If you don’t take care of your body early then it won’t take care of you later. Your world becomes smaller each day as you lose mobility, continence and sight.
- Money talks. It says “Goodbye.” If you don’t plan your finances for later in life, you’ll wish you had.
- That big house you had to have becomes a bigger and bigger burden, even as the mortgage gets smaller. The cleaning, the maintenance, the stairs — all of it. Don’t let your possessions own you.
- Every day you wake up is a victory.
- None of the best experiences of your life will happen staring a computer screen, a phone screen or a TV.
- Beneath anger is always fear. As the wise Yoda says, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Whenever we suffer, especially for long periods of time, at first we believe it is because of something outside of us–something we hate. And if we make it past that emotion, we find below that hate is a rumble of anger, and certainly something we have held on to for far too long. But beneath all of that is always fear. A fear of loss. A fear of vulnerability. A fear of letting go. But if you can get to the point of acknowledging the fear, you will see its lighthearted shadow, compassion. And you will be able to move forward.
- Your emotions take practice. Who you are emotionally takes practice. You can practice humility, you can practice forgiveness. You can practice self-awareness and humor, just as easily as you can practice anger, resentment, drama, and conflict. Who you are, emotionally, is a reflection of the things you consciously (or unconsciously) practice. You were not “born” upset. You have merely practiced that emotion far more than you have, say, joy.
- Achievement will never be as fulfilling as the journey.
- The school really were the best days of your life. If you worked hard at school, you are reaping the benefits now.
- Choose your friends carefully; you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Always give your best at everything you do, people are always watching.
- Always treat people the way you want to be treated and you’ll receive respect from almost everyone you meet.
- Everyone is simultaneously different and the same. Regardless of someone’s race, culture, gender and sexual orientation, everyone is equal.
- We don’t care about the things we get easily, Health for instance.
- Practice Humility, Practice Forgiveness. like you practiced playing Piano. Your emotions take practice.
- And last but not the least, Don’t let your Possessions own you.