How To Make Today Memorable

How To Make Today Memorable

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
– Maria Robinson

Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is just a figment of the imagination.  So if you think about it, today is the only day you’re alive.  Today is the day that matters the most.

Here’s how to make it memorable:

  • Try something totally new. – Variety truly is the spice of life.  You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  As a result, first time experiences usually leave a reflective mark in our minds for the rest of our lives.  So spice it up!
  • Entertain yourself with real-world experiences. – Great memories are the product of interesting life experiences.  So turn off the television (or the computer) and get outdoors.  Interact with the world, appreciate nature, take notice of the simple pleasures life has to offer, and just watch as life unfolds in front of you.
  • Work on something that’s meaningful to you. – Engage yourself in a meaningful personal project.  Or pull the trigger on doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do.  Life is short.  Today is the day to take action.
  • Challenge your mind and body.Learn a new skill.  Be creative.  Build something from the ground up, no matter how small.  Run farther than you’ve ever run before.  Push yourself to the limits!
  • Concentrate on less, but give it your best. – Slow down.  Pay close attention to what you’re doing.  Don’t waste time juggling forgettable tasks.  Instead, concentrate on a few things that really matter.  Engage fully in this day.
  • Say “yes” to a spontaneous opportunity. – Everything in life can’t be planned.  Some of the greatest opportunities will knock on your door when you least expect them to.  Be flexible, be spontaneous, and just say “yes.”
  • Complete an important piece of unfinished business. – Today is a perfect day to finish what you started.  Few feelings are more satisfying than the one you get after an old burden has been lifted off of your shoulders.
  • Document your day. – Take lots of pictures.  Keep a journal.  Document your day so you can review it some other day.  Many moons from now, these old photos and journal entries will ignite your recollection of great memories from the past.
  • Smile, be positive, and notice what’s right. – Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad.  It just depends on your perspective.  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest.
  • Be authentic.  Be true to yourself. – Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else.”  Live by this statement.  There is no such thing as living a good day in someone else’s shoes.  The only shoes you can occupy are your own.  If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living… you’re merely existing.  And no day spent in a phony state of mere existence will ever be memorable or worthwhile.
  • Actively assist someone in need. – In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.  I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience.  One you’ll likely remember forever.
  • Share time with a good friend and experience life together. – Pink Floyd once said, “The memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime.”  There are few things more satisfying than recounting the greatest moments of your life with your closest friends who lived these moments alongside you.
  • Make a new friend. – People are interesting creatures, and no two people are exactly alike.  So meet someone new today.  Find out what makes them tick.  They’ll likely open your eyes to fascinating ideas and perspectives.  And you never know, they just might change your life.
  • Do something fun and laugh your ass off. – Some of the most memorable moments in your life will be moments spent in laughter.
  • Be present.  Be here now. – I purposely left this bullet for last because it perfectly encompasses all of my previous points. – Don’t let your life slip by.  Instead of dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future, just practice being and living in the ‘now.’  Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.

And I leave you with this to think about:

We all agree that life is short.  Sooo…

Why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

Photo by: FMC.Nikon.D40

How Love Begins

How Love Begins

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return.
– Natalie Cole

On a chilly October night nine years ago…

I would have preferred not to write to you.  In fact, about a week ago, I put a post-it note on my computer monitor that said, “What would Skyman do?” (Skyman is my cat).  It was supposed to remind me not to do things that Skyman wouldn’t do.

Skyman would just wag his tail or wiggle his little nose, and hope that whoever he’s wagging or wiggling to understands that he’s hungry, or lonely, or in love, or whatever.  But he certainly wouldn’t write a silly love letter to the coolest girl he knows.  Because he can’t form complex thoughts.  And because he’s smart enough not to be so stupid.

This evening, the post-it note fell off of my computer monitor and landed on the floor.  And although post-it notes usually lose their stick after a few days, this one was different.  It was still really sticky and shouldn’t have come unstuck.  And it was light green, which is the color of your eyes.  These were obvious signs I couldn’t ignore.

So I decided to write to you…  To tell you that Hanging by a Moment is a totally awesome song.  That Diet Coke tastes better when you smile.  And that the world seems easier to understand today than it did yesterday.

But still not as easy to understand as two days ago, when a friend and I shared a three scoop 5 & Diner ice cream sundae at midnight.  And decided that some people are like hot fudge and others are like hard candy.  And I don’t remember why we decided that.

But it had something to do with friendship.  And ice cream with two spoons instead of one.  And later that night, after I dropped you off, I wanted to call you to ask whether you preferred hard candy or hot fudge, just to find out whether you’d sigh and giggle simultaneously when I’d ask.  Because that’s what I think you’d do.

I didn’t call you because Skyman wouldn’t do that.  He wouldn’t even know how to dial your phone number.  Because a cat’s paws are not nearly as dexterous as human hands.  Which must be nice for Skyman, because love is a lot simpler when you have paws.

Anyway, it’s midnight again.  And I’m sitting up in bed with my laptop thinking about how our lives begin and end in the time it takes the universe to blink.  Which isn’t too long.  But long enough for letters that aren’t too long.  Letters that ramble instead of saying what they want to say.  Which is…

I wish you were here.  Just breathing beside me.

Photo by: Kliefi

How To Win a Race in Last Place

 Win a Race in Last Place

This guest post was written by Alex Fayle, author of Someday Syndrome.

When I was seven years old, I won a foot race in last place.

An Outsider

Due to foul play at other schools, the local school district enacts a mandatory policy during recess hours that segregates the schoolyard based on gender.  Boys and girls are no longer allowed to partake in activities together.  Given that my friends are almost all girls, I feel lost.  I’m not rough and tough enough to feel comfortable with the boys, and yet my gender excludes me from hanging with my friends, the girls.

So I learn to be an outsider.  I have a couple acquaintances in both camps, but I’m not actively a part of either, at least not anymore.  And because I’m an outsider, I quickly become the object of teasing.  Every tribe picks a walking, talking target of ridicule and I fall easily into this role.

With Oneself

Although the words hurt, I find strength from within to push forward, to stay who I am.  Because my parents instilled love and patience in my mind from the time I was born.  They taught me that the only valid competition is with oneself.  So I don’t mind being me.  I just wish everyone else would learn to accept me as I am.

To add to my exclusion, I’m fairly clumsy and athletically awkward.  I can’t pull my limbs together in a coordinated manner to lift myself over the high-jump bar, to propel my body through the air for the triple-jump, or to pump my legs fast enough along the race track.

I’m never in last place, but because of my outsider status, the majority of the students spew words of ridicule at me anyways.  The other outsiders – the poor, malnourished students who wear tattered clothes to school, or the ones with physical disabilities – they get verbally harassed too.  And although they never say a word about it, I can see the pain and frustration in their eyes.  It hurts them just as much, if not more, than it hurts me.

The First Time

As the teachers group the boys together for the weekly 100 yard dash, I decide it’s time for an outsider to win for once.

In the eyes of my classmates, I’m already the loser.  Regardless of whether I come in first place or last, they will mock me.  I realize I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  So I purposely run slow and let everyone pass me, even the poor boy whose ribs show through his skin, whose track and field clothes are the same as his day-to-day clothes… the one whose always in last place.

From my position just behind him, I see the teachers cheering him on.  Then suddenly, and surprisingly, some of the students join in.  I make an effort to seem like I’m pushing myself while actually falling back more and more.  And before long, all the students are cheering him on.  “You got it!” they chant.  “You’re almost there!”

The boy crosses the finish line and looks back at me.  He has a smile on his face stretching from one end of the schoolyard to the other.  It’s the first time he’s not in last place.

I pant across the finish line and receive the usual jeers, but I smile too.  Because today I learned how to win in a way many of my classmates will never understand.

I may have finished in last place.

But I won the race.

Alex Fayle, of Someday Syndrome, is a former procrastinator who uses his visionary ability to uncover hidden patterns and help you break the procrastination obstacle so that you can finally find freedom and start living the life you desire.

Photo by: Lekke

20 Life Lessons I Learned in My 20’s

Life Lessons I learned in My 20's

With an impending 28th birthday on my mind, I spent some quiet time this evening reflecting on my recent past.  And I’ve come to realize that my 20’s taught me a lot about life.  So, I figured I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  1. If you’re smiling right now, you’re doing something right.
  2. It’s not so much what you say that counts, it’ how you make people feel.
  3. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re scared to make a mistake.
  4. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.
  5. Freedom is the greatest gift.  Self-sufficiency is the greatest freedom.
  6. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  7. It’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work.  But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Sometimes you just have to go for it!
  8. Complaining is like slapping yourself for slapping yourself.  It doesn’t solve the problem, it just hurts you more.
  9. The one with nothing to hide is always the one left standing tall.
  10. You can press forward long after you can’t.  It’s just a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  11. There’s a big difference between knowing and doing.  Knowledge is basically useless without action.
  12. In work and business, when they need you more than you need them, you have succeeded.
  13. Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad.  It just depends on your perspective.
  14. We are all weird.  And life is weird.  And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we call it love.
  15. True friendship and true love do sustain the tests of distance and time.
  16. You can’t change who you are.  You can only change what you know and how you apply this knowledge.
  17. It is okay to be angry.  It is never okay to be cruel.
  18. Even when you feel like you have nothing, someone else likely has far less.  Find them and help them.  You’ll see why.
  19. Having a thousand credentials on the wall will not make you a decent human being.  But genuinely helping one person everyday will.
  20. Remember, change happens for a reason.  Roll with it.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

And I leave you with this question:

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Photo by: Nattu

The Art of Being Naked

Be Naked. Be Free.

The Girl

She has dirty blond hair, a seductive smile, and the most engaging set of hazel green eyes I’ve ever seen.  It’s the kind of engaging I can’t ignore… the kind that makes me want to engage too.  Because she’s mysterious.  And I’m curious.  And I need to know more.

Yet, I do my best to avoid making eye contact.  So I stare down at the pool table and pretend to study my opponent’s next move.  But only long enough for her to look the other way, so I can once again catch a glimpse of magnificence.

I do this, not because she intimidates me, but because I think she may be the girl Chad met last night.  A wild night that, he said, “involved two bottles of port wine, chocolate cake, and sweaty bed sheets.”

Then, just as her eyes unexpectedly meet mine, my opponent groans, “It’s been your turn for like five minutes.  Ya planning on going sometime today?”  And she walks gracefully away.

So I continue to wonder… “Is she the port wine and chocolate cake girl?  Gosh, she doesn’t look like that kind of girl.”  But I don’t wonder too long because Chad enters the room and says, “Marc, there’s someone I want you to meet.”  So I follow him into the kitchen and we bump right into her.  “Oh, Angel,” Chad says.  “This is my buddy, Marc.”

And I smile ear to ear and chuckle…

Because she’s not the port wine and chocolate cake girl.  But also because I spent the last twenty minutes thinking about the port wine, and the chocolate cake, and the sweaty bed sheets.

The Dance

Hours later, the party begins winding down.  But the band is still playing, the two painters who have been painting a wall mural all evening are still painting, and Angel and I are still dancing.

“Are you tired?” I ask.

“No,” Angel says.  “Dancing is my outlet.  When I dance, I transcend myself and the doubts that sometimes prevent me from being me.  This evening has been enchanting, just dancing with you and being me.”

So I twirl her around.  And the drummer keeps drumming.  The guitarist keeps strumming.  The singer keeps singing.  The painters keep painting.  And now we’re the only ones dancing.

As we continue to dance, she says, “I feel as if we’re naked.  And not just you and me, but the drummer, the guitarist, the singer, and the painters too.  Everyone left in this room is naked… naked and free.”

I smile and tell her that I agree.  “We are naked.  We are free.”

As I know we don’t have to take our clothes off to be naked.  Because moments of passion flow into each other like port wine flows into chocolate cake.  And if we let them, these moments can expose us completely, and continuously.  And create climaxes that don’t even require sex.

Because a true climax has little to do with orgasm, and everything to do with passion, love, and devotion.  In the same way, nakedness has little to do with how much clothing one wears, and everything to do with one’s awareness in a given moment of time…  An unfettered awareness that frees their mind and allows them to truly live the moment for all it’s worth.

The Climax

After a few more songs, Angel asks if I’d like to join her out on the front porch where it’s quieter.  “Just so we can talk about life,” she says.

I give her a little wink.  “I love life in this crazy world!  It is crazy, isn’t it?”

She smiles.  “Yeah, a world in which we can be naked with our clothes on and experience continuous climax without intercourse.”

“Because instead we can achieve both with music, or paint, or dance, or any form of avid self-expression,” I add.

“You got it.  Even the sincerity in this conversation is beginning to work for me,” she says as we step out the front door and into the moonlight.

Photo by: Grazie