In this series of short articles I will reflect on my daily thoughts and observations, look at things that happen around me from different perspectives and add things that I find worth reading or that help me in my day-to-day life... I will try to keep it up for 14 days as a little experiment - please enjoy.
This is #3.
Recently - more than ever - I have tried to focus to live one day at a time. Since starting my website and this blog with the intention to reflect on my life in general and have a higher focus on what is important to my social, mental and physical health, concentrating on "living each day to the fullest" seems to be a pretty good starting point.
In doing so and searching for inspiration from people that have done the same in the past, I came across a specific passage in a book originally written in 1948: "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie. This passage consists of ten intentions that describe how to conquer your day by focusing on what is important, creating happiness from within, adjusting yourself to your surroundings and daily challenges, caring for your mind, body and soul, plan out your tasks and be mindful and unafraid.
These are the ten intentions mentioned in the book:
1. Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
2. Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.
3. Just for today, I will adjust myself to what Is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.
4. Just for today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.
5. 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 all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
6. Just for today, I will exercise my soul. In three ways:
(a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out.
(b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.
(c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
7. Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.
8. Just for today, I will have a program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests of hurry and indecision.
9. Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will think of God, or meditate so as to get a little more perspective of my life.
10. Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.
To be honest, whenever I read these sentences I experience strong, positive feelings. I think that there is a lot of truth and guidance in them. I feel like I can tackle all of today's challenges much easier by following this piece of advice. This feeling usually vanishes after a short while, especially whenever I'm forced back into doing tasks that I am not very fond of. But I hope that by reading through these ten intentions every day and memorizing them, the positivity they provide me with will sustain and at one point my unconscious will be able to remind my conscious of what is truly important at any point in time.
I want to finish today's article with two more quotes by Dale Carnegie as food for thought:
"Today is our most precious possession. It is our only sure possession."
“...the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
I can highly recommend the book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" since it carries a lot of valuable advice on how to worry less especially in these difficult times - it can be purchased here (Amazon Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2vSNWL2):