Taking It One Day at a Time

Have you ever given up one of your goals in life?

Maybe your goal was to lose 30 pounds.

But when you looked at yourself in the mirror you got discouraged because losing the weight seemed so difficult and that it would take "forever."

Perhaps one of your goals is to make your living as a freelance copy or web writer.

But because it seems more like a faraway dream than a reality, you continually get discouraged and lapse back into the same old habits that only lead to more of the same.

If so, I've got some good news for you.

There's an easy way to conquer this.

It's a technique that some of the most successful people use and some of the greatest thinkers in the world have advocated.

I came across it recently while listening to motivational speaker Earl Nightingale's legendary "Lead the Field" audio program.

Earl Nightingale (1921 - 1989), of course, is one of the founders of Nightingale-Conant. He, along with Lloyd Conant, founded Nightingale-Conant in 1960. The same year he started writing "Lead the Field."

So what is this technique that Nightingale suggests we use?

It's to live successfully one day at a time.

Now this might sound a tad elementary, but it really works.

As Nightingale explains, everyone's life consists of days that turn into weeks, months and years. And every day is comprised of a series of tasks.

A successful life is but a series of successful days all strung together.

If you're going to reach your goal in the minimum amount of time, you must make every day count.

Nightingale says to think of each day as a building block as if you're building the tower of your life.

Just as a stone mason can put only one stone in place at a time -- you can live only one day at a time.

He adds that it's the way the stones are placed that will determine the strength and beauty of your tower.

If each stone is successfully placed, it goes to follow that the tower will be a success.

But it they're put together in a hit or miss fashion, the entire tower will be in danger.

Nightingale is quick to point out that living one day a time doesn't mean you should overwork yourself or try to do tomorrow's tasks today.

The key is to focus on the quality of the task at hand.

After a while, you'll find you're able to finish more tasks in less time.

In order to make it work two things are necessary:

  1. You must keep your eye on your goal; and
  2. Continue to grow in terms of your competence at what you do.

If you consistently and unrelentingly build up a successful succession of single days, you can't help but have a successful life.

And equally as important, at the end of every day, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you put in a good day's work -- and moved that much closer to your overall goals in life.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Listening to "Lead the Field" inspired me to write an article about what Nightingale calls the "magic word."

It's magic, because it's hands down the most important thing you should change if your life if you want to lead a more successful life.

You can access my article, The First Thing You Need To Change To Lead A More Successful, Happier Life here. And if you have any questions or comments for me, I invite you to post them below. I’d like to hear them!

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Published: February 7, 2011

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