I like to define success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal. The purpose of this message is to tell you of a wonderful way to keep realizing — to keep achieving — your goals, one after another, in the years ahead.
A goal sometimes seems so far off, and our progress often appears to be so painfully slow, that we have a tendency to lose heart. It sometimes seems we’ll never make the grade. And we come close to falling back into old habits that, while they may be comfortable now, lead to nowhere.
Well, there’s a way to beat this. It’s been used successfully by many of the world’s most successful people, and it’s been advocated by many of the greatest thinkers. It’s to live successfully one day at a time!
A lifetime is comprised of days, strung together into weeks, months and years. Let’s reduce it to a single day, and then, still furthermore, to each task of that day.
A successful life is nothing more than a lot of successful days put together. It’s going to take so many days to reach your goal. If this goal is to be reached in a minimum amount of time, every day must count.
Think of a single day as a building block with which you’re building the tower of your life. Just as a stonemason can put only one stone in place at a time, you can live only one day at a time. And it’s the way in which these stones are place that will determine the beauty and the strength of your tower. If each stone is successfully placed, the tower will be a success. If, on the other hand, the stones are put down in a hit-or-miss fashion, the whole tower is in danger. Now this may seem to be a rather elementary way of looking at it, but I want to make my point clear — and it’s a good and logical way of looking at a human life.
All right, then, let’s take it one day at a time, from the time we wake up in the morning until we drop-off to sleep at night, keeping our goal in mind as often as possible.
Now, each day consists of a series of tasks — tasks of all kinds. And the success of a day depends upon the successful completion of most of these tasks. If everything we do during the day is a success — that is, done in the best fashion of which we are capable — we can fall asleep that night in the comfortable knowledge that we’ve done our very best, that our day has been a success, that one more stone has been successfully put into place.
Do each day all that can be done that day. You don’t need to overwork — or to rush blindly into your work, trying to do the greatest possible number of things in the shortest possible amount of time. Don’t try to do tomorrow’s or next week’s work today. It’s not so much the number of things you do, but the quality, the efficiency of each separate action that counts. Gradually, you’ll find yourself increasing the number of tasks and performing them all much more efficiently.
This is the way to really live!