First 30 Days Blog

12 sep

Today Is All We Have

JayForteA very close friend of a good friend of mine died this morning after a difficult battle with cancer. Everyone is really sad today. Sad because we miss this great person. Sad because whatever time we had with her was not enough. Sad because we won’t be able to make new memories together. But there is wisdom in this aspect of being human.

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen says in her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, “…the view from the edge of life is so much clearer.” When we are faced with illness and our mortality, we realign the pieces of our life and focus on what is most important – who we touch in life and who touches us. We become wiser. And this wisdom is shared at the time of illness – ideally so we all learn and live that way each day, not just in a period of change and challenge.

Though we know this, few live with a great appreciation for the moment, the day and the people in our lives. Few of us learn this lesson until something catastrophic affects our lives.

Today is all we have. We don’t know about tomorrow. We don’t know about next week. This is not fatalistic – it is realistic. To me, this realization encourages the need for us to own each moment of our lives – to be really present. This reminds me on a daily basis that life is not a series of days to use up. Rather, life is the gift of days to use to add value, connect with others and transform the world. And everyday that our feet get to land on the floor, we get one more opportunity to be part of our world, and to bring it our best.

I find myself constantly distracted in running my own business. Because there is so much to handle, at the end of the day, I frequently don’t remember much of the day. Though I know better, I still lose sight that each moment of each day is never to be wasted or taken for granted. To that end, I am always trying to build in better “be in the moment” habits. Here are some that I find work for me:

1. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier each day. Use the 10 minutes to think about 5 things you are grateful for. Soon you’ll find you won’t hit the snooze – you’ll look forward to your “grateful time,” and ten minutes won’t be enough. Be present.

2. Touch some part of nature. Hold onto a tree; smell flowers, grass or leaves. It connects you to this moment and the relationship that you and the planet have. You’ll also develop a greater responsibility to respect it and treat it well when it is an emotional part of your day. Be present.

3. Give someone a hug. It sounds cliché but as anyone who is on the edge of life will tell you, they crave the human touch – the moment of people and spirits connecting. Physical contact brings you into someone else’s space at this moment – and the two of you are in the moment together. You are very aware of time, of being present and feeling important to another person. Be present.

4. Smile. Even if there weren’t studies about the health effects of a positive attitude and behavior, a friendly and encouraging signal to another person impacts their world at that moment. This connection builds community. This connection creates a moment of memory in the day. Think how many people have changed your outlook just by a kind gesture, act or word. Be present.

5. Stare into a night sky and just imagine. Connect to the greatness of a moment by appreciating the size of our space – that you get to be in it, and what it feels like at this one particular moment. And when you watch the sky, you’ll notice it never remains the same – it constantly changes. Each moment is different. You become aware of each moment. You are part of each moment. Be present.

So, today is all we have. Find ways to be part of it. Be part of the lives with whom you share space at each moment. Choose to be happy. Greet each day with an attitude of gratefulness and love. Live each day as if it were your last.

Life is as great or as small as you intent it to be. And it isn’t the things that make it great. It is your connection to the people, events and moments that make it great. May you always know what the people who are at the edge of life know – that each day is important; each day is a gift. Treasure it and make it great.

Jay Forte is a business and motivational speaker, performance consultant and life coach. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resource, Stand Out and Get Hired. His new book, The Greatness Zone; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform Your World, will be available in October 2010. He teaches people to connect to their talents and passions to be fired up! in life and at work. More information at and

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Posted by Jay Forte on September 12th, 2010 in Family, General, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality, Things We Love | 0 comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

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