We all have things we want to improve, but it’s daunting to consider changing something for THE REST OF OUR LIFE. But think what we could get done if we adjusted our perspective, if we focused on how to live one day at a time.
Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do – just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
Just for Today, Just for Us
I wish I had written the passage above, but I didn’t, and it’s not clearly known who originally did. But if you see this as worthwhile advice, you are in good company.
Dale Carnegie, the famous advocate of self-improvement, included a version of the essay in his high-profile book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
“Let’s fight for our happiness by following a daily program of cheerful and constructive thinking. I found this so inspiring that I gave away hundreds of copies.” (Dale Carnegie)
The Beatles member George Harrison released a solo album featuring the song “Just for Today” which included these lyrics:
Just for today
I could try to live through this day only
Not deal with all life’s problems
Just for today
More importantly, the original “Just for Today” (appropriately from an anonymous author) is widely featured in Twelve Step meetings for Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous and used by many thousands of people all over the world.
But, back to where we started: think what we could get done if we focused on making improvements just one day at a time.
What do you want to become? Do you have a plan for how you can achieve your life purpose? Pick any of the suggestions above, or come up with some of your own. Then, decide what you are willing to do, just for today.
Question: What is one thing you really want to change in your life?
Action: Commit to make that change, just for today.