Today. Who are you and where are you today? Yes, life is a journey. Yes, there’s a destination, but what happens along the road matters more than where you end up. It’s about a process instead of a product. That’s why my life today is all about discovering play. If you want to embrace this adventure, you need to start with three questions:
- Where do I think I’m going? This is your believed destination. It’s where you think you’re going right now. Odds are, this will change. But that doesn’t matter. You just need to know where you think you’re going so you can answer the next two questions.
- What do I need to do to get there? If your believed destination is your final destination, then what do you need to do today to move in that direction? What do you need to say yes to? More importantly, what do you have to say no to? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to spend time with?
- How far can I go today? This is the most important question. It’s also the most painful and demands the most honesty. It insists you admit that this journey will have a tomorrow. And a day after that. Most likely, it requires many days after that. Yes, you want the payoff now, but that’s not how this works. Instead, in time, you will discover that they true reward is in the journey and the process. So, instead of wistfully dreaming of something off in the distance, this is the question you need to focus on.
What does it look like to answer this question? Truthfully? Honestly? Brutally?
The Possible Cost of Today
Depending on where you are, living today can have a cost. We live in a world that demands we be where we aren’t and will leave us if we don’t make it seem like we’re there. There’s risk in embracing today.
It’s dangerous to say, “I’m addicted.” or, “I’m depressed.” or, “I’m struggling.” It’s costly to say, “I’m not qualified yet.” or, “The product isn’t ready.” or, “I need to postpone.” Even if you’re stepping into recovery, practicing self-care, engaging in personal development, or burning the midnight oil on the way towards your destination, there are people in your life who won’t respect the journey because they can’t.
That makes being honest about where you are today potentially costly. Friendships. Financial security. Employment. An intimate relationship. They can all end today. They can reach the threshold for what they can endure today. It can cost you to not reach your final destination today.
Will losing any or all of the above suck? Absolutely. The idea of that kind of loss makes you want to wretch. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying. It’s the kind of thing that contributes to two steps back on your journey. But the cost of not being honest about today is far worse.
Why Focus On Today?
Because how far you can go today is your limit. They’re the only steps you can take. Because you need to take them before you can take tomorrow’s steps … or next weeks. That is what you’re capable of doing right here and right now. So how far can you go today?
For those of us on the journey from dysfunction to health, healing is about the process. When you go from work to play it’s about unlearning before relearning. Breaking free from a life of escape requires training in new habits. This is not a journey that happens in a moment or even a day. They require weeks, months, and most likely years to accomplish.
So, How Far Can You Go Today?
Maybe it’s a five step day. Of course, you could also be limited to a single step. The wear and tear of the journey might demand that you stop and rest today. You could also realize that yesterday you rushed forward recklessly. You got yourself off track, and now you need to take a few steps back and try again.
Ask yourself, “How far can I go today?”
That’s all you can do. Yes, there might be consequences for not going further. Those costs will never be as severe as the ones that come with rushing the journey, reaching a pseudo destination, and not having learned what you need in the process.
How far can you go today?
Two Final Thoughts
One, if you’re reading this post and realizing you’ve been rushing, perhaps that is your lesson for today. How far you can go today is taking the time to recognize the costs of ignoring the process. Then tomorrow, start again … after all, it will be a new today.
Two, I’ve risked losing far more in my life by not being honest with myself and others about where I am. My pretending I was where I thought they wanted me to be, was far worse than just being real.