“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”
Years ago, I stood on top of a pinnacle of rock, searching for signs of a trail that I had lost an hour before. A loose piece of debris slid off the steep formation; I watched it fall until it disappeared in the mess of desert brush below. It occurred to me as a dispassionate observation that while I would never intentionally jump to follow the rock’s path, that whether I fell or not didn’t really matter. When I finally returned to the trailhead after discovering that the desert moon illuminates a trail so well that a headlamp isn’t necessary, I sat in my car and decided that regardless of what day was my last, I wanted to die on a great day. The problem was, I didn’t know (or perhaps didn’t remember), how to make great days for myself, let alone how to make every day a great one.
Eventually, in a non-linear fashion more similar to the elevation profile of a technical mountain course than a well-groomed ski slope, intentional gratitude was the path that brought me closer to that goal. It didn’t require that any of my circumstances change. It didn’t require me to cultivate some superficial show of happiness and health. It didn’t require me to do more, which is good, because one can only run so many miles or volunteer so many hours in a day.
A great day is not a day where everything is perfect. We need pain to make us see joy, darkness to see light, sickness to see health, disappointment to make us see success, tears to make us see laughter. Avoiding those negative pieces of life just dims the other side of the spectrum. All things change.
How do I create a great day? I let my constant companion, the one between my ears, tell me this:
Love as though you’ll be gone tomorrow. Respect each other as though you’ll live forever. Dream as though time has no meaning.
Ask questions and listen to the whole answer that is someone else’s truth. Everyone has a story; everyone is both a teacher and a student.
Laugh with God when plans must change.
Don’t be too shy; we’re all just humans sharing an imperfect attempt at life. Timidity only holds you back from the fullest adventure you can have. You only get one shot…why not go for it? No child strives for a mediocre existence.
Most days, I listen.
How do you create a great day?