Archive for July 27th, 2009

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now” [Chinese Proverb].

I really like this proverb. It is a reprieve for all of us who didn’t take advantage of the “best time.” Sure, we should have planted the tree, planned for retirement, focused in on the dream, and developed our potential 5, 10, maybe even 20 years ago.

But for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. So what? What’s your next step?

Mark Strand said, “The future is always beginning now.” Isn’t that refreshing? We didn’t miss the deadline for creating our future! Every day brings with it the next best time — the opportunity to begin anew.

The way I look at it you have three choices.

  1. You can live with the regret of what might have been — berating yourself for past failures and missed opportunities. Wasting time and energy.
  2. You can allow current circumstances to continue to steal your time and dilute your focus. Riding the merry-go-round of your daily schedule, falling into bed exhausted, failing to make the time to “plant a tree” again today.
  3. You can take advantage of the next best time — today — and begin putting your plans, ideas, and dreams into motion!

Think about this: In 20 years, TODAY will have been the best time to take action. July 27, 2010 and 2019 and 2029 are coming. Will you look back with a sense of pride and accomplishment at how your tree has grown? Or with regret that you let another year or ten years pass by, wishing you had taken advantage of today — right now — the next best time?

You are the one who will decide what your future becomes, and you decide it by your actions today. “Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, and that I shall be tomorrow” [Louis L’Amour].

The future is a place that is created —
created first in the mind and will,
created next in activity.
The future is not some place we are going to,
but one we are creating.

Yesterday is over. Last week is a memory. Today is the next best time to begin creating the future.

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there” [Charles F. Kettering].

Whatever you are, be a good one!


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