"One Day" is Today

"Sitting still and wishing makes no person great." ~Author Unknown

My great grandma wrote this on the back of a makeshift list of monthly expenses in December 1980. It's a random oddity to find (and still have around), but I think she might have been onto something when she scribbled down that proverb 30 years ago.

We all have lofty dreams, don't we? We want to travel the world. Find that perfect job. Run that marathon. Write that novel. Whatever it is we aspire to do "one day" keeps us moving forward. It gives us something to put our hope in. These dreams and desires are good--really good--things to have in our lives.

But when does that "one day" come?

It's a struggle to turn our "want to's" into "have done's," isn't it? We've all at one point or another reached a goal and felt the blissful satisfaction of accomplishment. But if we take a step back to reassess our lives, we realize that most of these wonderful ambitions we have lay dormant. And the world is missing out.

I'm completely guilty of the sin of complacency. I wrote a thousand words and I "got busy." I ran 5 miles and I "got tired." I bought the seeds but they sit on my shelf. I'll ____ as soon as ____ (fill in the blanks). We've all made excuses, but what better time than NOW to put our dreams into motion?

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat with a local community activist. (These sorts of people always put me to shame.) He teaches kids to express their ideas through art. He educates the public on the importance of sustainable living. He builds hoop houses where food will be grown to feed the hungry. He has a passion and he acts upon it--not when the time seems right, but NOW.

Of course, if you are like me, you have way too many dreams to count, and perhaps if you had three extra days in the week and the ability to function without sleep, you could make them happen. But instead of trying to accomplish everything at once, start small. Make a pact with yourself not to procrastinate on the laundry or the dishes this week. Or go sign up to volunteer for that organization you've been looking into. Take the plunge and buy your plane ticket to Morocco!

Join me in making at least one of our dreams a reality this month. (I'm going to send out Christmas cards and sign up to volunteer.) We will become great because of it.

(P.S. I procrastinated on the dishes. Just goes to show, you can't do it all.)

Photo thanks: TristanGreer


Crys said...

I think you can get more done than you ever imagined. Sometimes we live out our dreams doing things we never even considered.

Emily said...

Great post Rach. I've been trying to live by the "just do it, already!" attitude lately. Instead of just whining about things going on in my life, I have chosen three specific areas that need improvement. The past two months, I have been making small changes in these areas, and I have felt really accomplished lately.

I think it's great to ask yourself, "Why am I stressing?" and "What can I do to ease that stress today?"

I know you're talking about dreams and goals, but I think your point can be useful for most aspects of your life, good and bad.

Laura Lee Bloor said...

Great post! Yes, the key is starting small. No one can do it all. And by all means -- put off the dishes and laundry! Are those your top priorities? (See my post: http://tenaciousme3.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/are-your-priorities-in-line-with-your-goals/) I doubt it. Make sure you're spending at least a little time on the thing(s) you love every day!

Rachael said...

Laura Lee ~ I was actually reading your post this morning. Love the insight! You put into words what's been running through my mind lately.

Emily ~ Love your advice! you are always an inspiration.

Crys ~ Good point. I can look back and say that's true and it's comforting to know that a serendipitous future also can be a dream come true.