“Quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out. Live one day at a time; better yet, make the most of this moment. It’s good to have a big – picture outlook, to set goals, to establish budgets and make plans, but if you’re always living in the future, you’re never really enjoying the present in the way God wants you to.”
― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential
Come August, I would have been in Washington D.C. for two years, and I remember vividly the plans I made before moving up here. Keep in mind that I was moving to D.C. blindly, meaning I had never been to the area, seen the apartment I would be moving into, secured a job, or visited the school I enrolled in. I decided that I would move to D.C., get a job, finish school, pay off debts, save money, buy a car, etc. Well nothing quite went the way I planned and I had to learn one important lesson: Do not get discouraged by your present situation because it isn’t what you expected.
I applied for 5 jobs a day, Monday thru Friday, for 6 months and received only 3 interviews with no job offers, I didn’t receive funding for school and had to take out another 20K in student loans. I depended on my family just to help keep the lights on, I won’t lie and say I never got discouraged because there were times I felt like quitting and moving back home, but I stayed the course. I lost nearly a year worrying about my tomorrow and failed to enjoy my present, it’s the journey that makes us who we are, and enjoying your NOW is critically important.
My situation has since improved and now I try to focus on having a great time NOW, and not focusing on tomorrow. Matthew 6: 25-34 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible; it is where Christ reminds us not to worry. “… So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Here are a few tips I use to ensure that I have a Great Day:
1) Set the Tone: When you wake up in the morning think positive thoughts. If you wake up thinking you’re going to have a bad day at work, school, etc. then you will. The first thing I do when I wake up is thank God for giving me another day and declare I will be glad, happy, blessed, and protected throughout the day. Set a positive tone at the beginning of each day. Set the tone! Set the tone! Set the tone!
2) Be a Blessing to Someone: You can be a blessing to someone in large and small ways. Open a door for someone, help someone carry their groceries; mentor a child, buy someone lunch, encourage someone, etc. You can be a blessing to someone by giving your money, but giving your time says much more.
3) Say I Love You: Let your loved ones know they are loved! Telling someone you love them not only makes them feel loved and appreciated, but it will make you feel great as well!
4) Remember to Laugh: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones, provides a physical and emotional release, provides a good workout for the heart, and brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.
Follow those four simple steps I have outlined and take some time to smell the flowers on your way to having a Great Day!