The Question, the Choice, the Realization & the Advice
Ask yourself where you are in life and where are you heading to. “If you want to know your future, look at what you are doing at this moment.” [ancient Tibetan saying]
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” [motivational author, Denis Waitley]
It is only when we know and understand that we have a limited time on earth ; and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. [philanthropist and author, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross]
Arabian wisdom suggests, Work for this world as if you are going to live forever and prepare for the Hereafter as if you are going to die tomorrow.
Note how the hours slip into days, the days slip into weeks, the weeks slip into months and the months into years. Then we wake up one day, in the twilight of our lives, and wonder what could have been. Prophet Muhammad so aptly reminded us; “People are asleep. Upon death, they wake up.” If you don't act on life, life has a habit of overtaking you. “Most people dread finding out when they come to die that they have never really lived.” [writer, Henry David Thoreau].
Adjusting For Tomorrow
We need to move from the bondage of yesterday to the possibilities of tomorrow. Remember the ancient wisdom of the 2nd century BC poet, Kalidasa:“Yesterday is but a dream, and to-morrow is only a vision; but to-day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
To step into the promising world of tomorrow we need to prepare ourselves to engage that reality today. It must be noted that too often, our plans revolve around changing things and changing others rather than improving ourselves. People are often eager to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain stuck where they are. We can only have a better world if we have improved individuals and we can only have better individuals if each of us is committed to improve ourselves.
If we take care of our infrastructure (faith, physical well-being, mind, heart, and spirit) we improve our lives and enhance our potential to have a positive impact on the world around us. Each one has to realize that you cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change; just as you can not become what you need to be by remaining what you are.
We need to approach the world and engage the future with an open mind; and an open mind is not the same as an empty head. So, open the mind through realizing facts and pursuing truth. We open our minds by …
removing prejudice with understanding (Perception)
removing darkness through light (Knowledge)
removing evil with good (Character)
replacing hatred with love (Compassion)
We need to move …from making excuses to providing ideas, from focusing on faults to finding solutions, from blaming others to analyzing ourselves, from focusing less on the inactivity of others to attending to one's own possible contribution, from the limitations of others to the potential of the self, from making mere promises to fulfilling commitments, from letting things happen to making things happen, from the shackles of the past to the possibilities of the future.
The Time is Now
Let us reflect on what we are doing with our time, for what we do with time is what we do with life. Wise indeed are the words that advise that time is free, but it is priceless. You can't own time, but you can use it. You can't keep time, but you can spend it. Once you've lost time, you can never get it back." So, half the difficulty of a task is overcome by initiating action. The ancient ones suggested that well begun is half done. Make the commitment to gain total control of your life today, make best use of the time at your disposal and you will thank yourself tomorrow. Seize the moment! Do it! Do it right! Do it right now!