It really is true that you are today where your choices have led you. You are the sum total of the choices you make. The problem with that is, most choices are not big ones. They are small ones made in the mundane and the routine. They don’t seem to be very important, but they are.
The upside is that the same small choices made over time can make our tomorrows bigger, better, and bolder than we ever imagined. Here are five small today choices that can make your tomorrow.
- Today I choose to be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm really is what separates people. Yeah, you need the skill. But I know people who don’t have developed skill or even latent talent whose enthusiasm has promoted them ahead of other people. Enthusiasm is something you choose. I will, today, be enthusiastic. One of the best reasons is because I woke up alive. I am not dead. And the Scriptures tell me that a live dog is better than a dead lion.
- Today I choose to be generous. Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” It’s the law of reciprocity. Some people (I don’t) call it karma. Other people express it as “what goes around comes around.” Today I choose to be generous; not only with my money, but with my praise, my compliments, my attention. I choose to be generous in every relationship. I choose to be generous today, knowing that it will pay dividends tomorrow.
- Today I choose to be option-oriented. When people feel like they have no options they get depressed. And when you get depressed, you lose energy, enthusiasm, and you don’t feel very generous. I woke up today in a world full of options. If I don’t like the work I do, I can begin today to make a change. If I don’t like being a doctor, I have the option of becoming a fireman. If I don’t like being a teacher, I have the option of becoming a CPA. We live in an option-rich environment. I always have options.
- Today I choose to be fully-present. This is a biggie for me because in times past I have found myself going to meetings leaving. So, here’s the deal. Wherever you have to be, you might as well be fully present, in that moment with your head-space, your emotions, your attention. If you have to be in a meeting, be fully in the meeting. Get everything you can out of it. Make notes, doodle until new ideas come. If you have to have a lunch meeting with someone you don’t particularly like, go ahead, be there, engage. You might actually be surprised. It’s rude to let your mind wander, look at your Blackberry, check texts, emails, or twitter while you’re with other people.
- Today I choose hope. Every single day I’ve gotten up I have had to choose hope. Hope is something that is both there and not there. It’s there because God is on the throne and has built hope into the fabric of the world. Because I have hope I know that tomorrow will be better. Because I have hope I know that my life is not over no matter how bad it looks today. I’ve buried my entire family of origin: my brother, my father, and my mother. I’ve done the funerals of children who have died through abuse, neglect, disease, suicide. I’ve had my own dark days where I have been fired and publicly humiliated. I’ve been sick and in the hospital, hopelessly in debt. You’re getting depressed reading this, I don’t blame you. But every single day I’ve chosen hope. Now hope has brought me where I am today. When people ask me, “How are you doing?” I say, “Never better.” And I can say that with all truth because hope always tells me that my best days are ahead. And so are yours.