I have been saving this quote for a while – “Never forget yesterday, but always live for today…because you never know what tomorrow can bring, or what it can take away.” (Tiny Buddha)
Of course, it came from a post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog, my favorite source for quotes.
I decided to use it today because of the stories over the weekend of various Olympic athletes who have had to withdraw from the competition because of testing positive for the COVID virus. Imagine how disappointing it must be for someone who has trained for 5 years for their opportunity (the extra year because of the delay of the games in 2020), only to be denied the chance to even compete at the last minute.
For one competitor, it must have been especially disappointing. John Rahm was at the Olympics to represent Spain. Rahm, you may remember, was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Golf tournament just a little over a month ago because of testing positive for COVID. He came back to win the US Open in his next outing and has been ranked number 1 or 2 in the world for some time.
In some of the interviews with disqualified athletes the disappointment of the moment had passed and they were already in the mode of training for the “next time”. For them, living in the moment means finding happiness in the small successes and improvements that come from a daily training routine and from knowing that they were doing their best. Rahm expressed such an attitude after his withdrawal from the Memorial tournament.
We must all learn to accept and build upon the past, whether that is to continue improving or to learn from a failure and move on. It is OK to have goals and dreams that are out in the future. That helps motivate us. However, it is really important that we focus on living for today, doing the best that you can in the time that you will have today. Tomorrow may never come for some. For others tomorrow may provide nothing but setbacks or may prove to be a time of breaking through to a new level.
So, if we cannot change the past and we cannot control the future, that leaves us with just the present in which to find happiness. What we do with today is all that really matters and we can control that, or at least make good decisions as the day unfolds. Living in the moment means paying attention to the things, people and events around you as you encounter them. It means finding fulfilment and joy in what you do. It means being happy just to be alive and finding peace within yourself and with others.
Perhaps you can get into the proper frame of mind to live in the moment if you start with a little prayer thanking God for giving you another day. You woke up this morning and that is a great start to the day. After you thank God for another day, ask Him for His help to make this a great day; a day that you live to the fullest. You don’t have to forget yesterday, just put it where it belongs – in your past – and you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking or worrying about tomorrow – it will get here when it gets here.
Rather, let yourself become immersed in today. Take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of today. Relish the opportunities to interact with other people. Become more aware of what new things you are experiencing or learning as the day progresses. Savor the day, for it is all the time that you really have. At the end of the day, you can take time to thank God for being with you and helping you enjoy the time. That would be a good time to ask Him for another day.
What will you do with today? What happiness will you find in today?
Not only the Olympians…but each of us has a story that “tells” why we are whatr we are today.