197. “Yesterday should be the teacher of today.” – Publius Syrus
Today is It
Let us think a little about today. It is truly the only day we ever get. Is there ever any other day?
Sure, we can remember back to yesterday. Or the day before yesterday. Or the same date 10 years ago.
And we can project out into the future — to tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, ten years from tomorrow.
But it is never any of those other days. It is never any of those other times. It is only ever, today.
What we do today is a great indicator where we will be tomorrow. Where we will be in ten, twenty years.
Are we using today, using this hour, this minute, to work towards our vision? Are we using each present moment as a stepping stone on our journey? Can we put off short-term pleasures in exchange for long-term gain?
And do we learn from the lessons of the past? From our mistakes, our failures, our missed opportunities?
Confidence is Experience
Let yesterday inform our actions today — not in the sense of being trapped as a prisoner of our past, stuck in negative habits and thought patterns — but as a teacher who has helped mold our character and our resolve, as we come through the crucible of adolescence into adulthood.
I always say, “confidence is experience.” You won’t be confident that you can do something until you’ve done it before. (And if you are, you are either arrogant or unwell.)
Use yesterday’s experiences to build today’s confidence. And if you don’t have the life experiences on which you can draw for confidence, go get them. Read a book. Learn a language. Take up a martial art. Talk to a stranger. Travel to a foreign country alone.
It is in the doing of these challenging acts that you build confidence, character, perspective. You grow as a person immensely. The todays of your future will be so much richer and rewarding.
A Final Thought
So is yesterday a benevolent teacher, helping you to be stronger today?
Or is it holding you back, casting you as a victim of your past choices?
The only way you can change that is by living a life today you can look back on tomorrow as “a good yesterday.”
You can’t change it tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes. Only a new today.
So what are you waiting for?
Until next time,
Reading an ancient book of moral sayings is the best thing you can do today. And the you of tomorrow will thank you and buy you dinner for making such a great decision.