Many years ago my mom had a poster put up in our house which read: today is the first day of the rest of your life.
I didn’t get it. I had already chalked up a dozen birthdays and was pretty proud of that accomplishment and had a basketful of dreams and plans and desires already stored up for the future. It didn’t make any sense to me that today could possibly have any impact on the rest of my life. That was too close, too easy in a way. Eventually I tossed away the phrase as some 70s pap and left it at that.
Years later, I realize my pre-teen mind was both right and wrong. It wasn’t so much that this principle is easy, but that it is deceptively simple. And there’s the rub.
If today is the first day, if today sets the tone for my days after, then the challenge is to make today meaningful. The challenge is to have it reflect the truth of who I am and what I want to be in the world.
The power rests in the moment. It’s in the moment between the thought and the action that we get to direct and determine our future. The vital ingredient is that we are awake to that reality.
This is powerful stuff. The world works as a constant expression of cause and effect. When we take ownership of our lives, we get to be the cause of our own experience. The result is both immense freedom, and immense responsibility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Today, do what you can to make your own path. Trust your instincts. Trust the moment that you have right now. Challenge yourself to move in the direction of your own light, even if the light appears to be dim. Give it fuel, and it will burn just as bright as the midnight sun.