Happy are those who maximize today

Oh, but it’s hard to explain how grand my new computer is!
Actually, it isn’t a new computer it all. It’s nearly three years old. But after this week’s update, my work life will be easier than ever.
To begin with, there’s extra space on my hard drive. Lots of it. And I don’t have to stew that this may be the day a message will warn me there’s no room to save my latest project.
There are new versions of most of my software. And there’s extra memory, too. Now I can leave as many documents open as I choose–all at one time. Putting it simply, everything is faster, better, and more efficient.
But the best thing of all is my new view.
Wanting to try out the new scanner’s capability, I scanned in my desk calendar. A splendid photo with snow-covered mountains in the background and brilliant fall leaves in the foreground, all against a blue, blue sky with white fluffy clouds.
It’s hard to imagine a more awe-inspiring scene.
Now every time I turn on the computer, that beautiful photo fills the starting screen. And printed boldly across the sky is a quote from John Dryden: “Happy are those who can call today their own; who secure within can say, tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.”
No doubt about it, I can live with that quote. Because it just may be that the key requirement for successful living is recognizing the importance of today.
It’s been decades since I entered a college speech contest with an oration titled “Tomorrow.” Somehow, over the years, the text of that youthful oration has been lost but I remember its basic concepts clearly.
Tomorrow, I maintained, does not exist. For when it comes, it will be today. The same is true for yesterday. When it was here, it was today. Now that it’s gone, yesterday is only a memory.
Today is always the critical point of life. Louise Hay puts it another way: “The power is always in the present moment.”
When we’re young, we’re tempted to look to tomorrow. To the day when our careers will be in full swing, or we’ll meet the person who will share our home and life. We can imagine excitement and grandeur ahead. We are filled with hope.
When we’re old, it’s easy to look back and remember how it used to be. When our mothers were living. When we were in the workforce. When our children were young. When we played tennis twice a week. When . . . when . . . when . . . .
Backward or forward, it makes little difference. Tomorrow and yesterday are both disempowering concepts.
Seventeenth-century writer William Congreve once wrote to a friend, “Defer not till tomorrow to be wise/Tomorrow’s sun to thee may never rise.”
And that’s the truth. Just as yesterday is only a memory, tomorrow is only a hope. While both memories and hope enrich life, it is the present that shapes it. That’s why Dryden wrote, “Happy are those who can call today their own.”
Today is the gift of all gifts. The moment filled with beauty and happiness. Today is yours to seize and enjoy. And when this day with its privilege is gone, it will never return.
So how about it? Can you let go of the past and the future right now and find the fun of living in this precious moment?

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