Every day – and I mean EVERY DAY – I spend some time thinking about and feeling the emotions related to the following:
1. Some event or person in my past that hurt me or that I perceive as having hurt me.
2. Concern/anxiety about the future. Will there be enough? Will I be able to provide? Will I have the courage to do what I most want? Et cetera, ad nauseam.
3. What I am doing right now that excites and energizes me, the contribution I am making, the purpose I am living into, the possibility I am fulfilling, the lives I am changing, starting with my own.
A good day is one in which numbers one and two are kept to a minimum and number three ascends with vigor. A bad day is when I let the past and/or the future determine the quality of the present. And, more importantly, my presence.
Replaying the difficulties of the past – especially by casting oneself as a victim of circumstance – as if doing so will yield a different outcome only robs you of the opportunity to create something new in the present.
Anxiously anticipating the future – especially through some story about insufficiency or inadequacy – when all you can control is your own behavior, your own choices, is energy lost to fear of the unknown.
There is nothing you can do to change the past. There is nothing you can do to predict the future.
What you can do is decide in this moment, at this place and with these people, that you will become as clear as possible about these things:
- Who you are.
- Where you are going.
- The next step you can take.
- And how much you are willing to love and serve the person in front of you right now.
Thanks to Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. who, in his talk with Krista Tippett referenced the musical “Now. Here. This.”
DAVID BERRY is the founder of RULE13 Learning. He writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world, especially the parts where he doesn’t handle it very well. If you enjoyed this post someone else might, too. Please pass it along.