Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake.
-- William James

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2011

path

Choosing wisely

With just one single action that you take right now, you can create powerful consequences that stretch far into the future. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, it depends. It depends on what the action is. Whatever it is, whatever action you take, you can be sure of this. Time will magnify whatever you do. So even if, right now, what you’re doing seems insignificant, later, as, time goes on, it can grow into something important.

Over time, those small efforts add together. Over time, they combine into a powerful force. Over time, they end up having a great influence.

Think of something quick and easy that you do every day, something like brushing your teeth, for example. If you brush your teeth just once, and never again, that one time is not going to do much good. By the same token, if you faithfully brush your teeth two or three times a day for years and years, and then one day you miss brushing them just once, that one missed time is not really going to end up hurting anything. What ends up making a difference in the condition of your teeth is the combination of all those efforts, all those times you brushed your teeth added together. Each time, when it comes time during the day to brush your teeth, you have a choice. You can either put time on your side, or you can get time working against you. It depends on what you do. So, which would you rather do?

Of course, you would rather get time working for you. How do you do that? With the quick, simple act of brushing your teeth in this example. You take the action now, today, and you make it consistent with the action you took yesterday. And then tomorrow you take the same action again. That’s how you get time working for you. Time will combine all those small actions into a big result. In this case, clean, white healthy teeth and healthy gums. And it works the same way for just about anything in your life. If your day-to-day actions are not consistent, if they cancel each other out, if, for example, on one day you go north, and the next day you go south, you’re not going to end up getting anywhere. The net result will be that you’ll be right back where you started. So if on one day, you put in some real, good effective efforts to achieve your goals and follow your dreams, and then the next day you sit around feeling sorry for yourself and thinking you’re never going to make it, you’re canceling out your efforts. The way to make quick and impressive progress is to focus all your thoughts, all your efforts, your time, your passion, and your awareness in a single and consistent direction. That’s a matter of choice. It’s one of the most important choices you can make. And it’s a choice you must continue to make, over and over again. So make the positive choice, in everything, all day long, day after day. You can’t reach the goal all at once, but you can and you will reach it one step at a time. And the more consistently those steps are all pointed in the same direction, the more quickly you’ll reach the goal.

And the good news is, even if you’ve failed ten thousand times, success is still very much within your reach. Just because you’ve made some mistakes, that doesn’t mean you have to continue making them. Because you’re smart, you’re flexible, and you’re adaptable. You can learn from what went wrong and figure out how to make it right. That’s an amazing ability and you do it all the time. It’s how you learned to walk. It’s how you learned to speak and read and understand language.

Just by realizing that you’ve made an error, you’ve made a major step in the direction of correcting that error and getting past it. The real beauty of this moment right now is that it’s the end of your past and it’s the beginning of whatever future you choose. If you’re satisfied with where you’ve been headed, then by all means keep going there. If you’re disappointed with what you’ve been doing, with what you’ve experienced, now is your chance to set off in a different direction. Imagine how great it would feel to know that you’re successfully living life on your own terms. Imagine it, and then know that even now you can make that feeling real. After all, you already know that your actions have very real consequences. How do you know that? Because you are living your consequences today.

Now you’re in a position to choose what the next consequences will be. And how do you do that? By taking the positive actions that bring them about. Right now, in this very moment, you face a great opportunity. It’s your opportunity to make a choice. Right now, you are choosing your future. With every thought, with every action, you are creating that future. Imagine the possibilities, and go for the absolute best you can imagine.


To continue reading this member-only content, please log in if you are a current subscriber/member, or if you’re not already a member, you can join today for an annual price of just $15 and get immediate access to the full text of this article and many others, plus additional member-only content such as downloadable audio programs and e-books. If you’re not ready to join right now, we invite you to look through our extensive archive of more than 4,000 shorter daily messages, which are fully available for everyone to read.

—Ralph Marston