We have no control over our past; we cannot change it. However, we can always change our future by taking charge of the choices that we make in our day-to-day life.
What we do today will dictate our future, and when we become aware of this truth and act accordingly, we set up ourselves for long-term, sustainable success.
In a recent article in the SUCCESS magazine, Anthony ONeal, a personal finance expert, bestselling author and Ramsey personality, shares that the best piece of advice he ever received was that the caliber of his future will be determined by the choices he makes in his present.
One day, as ONeal walked into a hotel room, he noticed an elderly woman cleaning his room. She was doing her work but she was moving very slowly and could barely walk. Seeing her condition, ONeal told her in a light-hearted manner, “Don’t worry about cleaning my room, I’m a young man and I just need some lotion because it’s 40 degrees here and I’m Black and ashy.” The lady gave him the lotion and as she started heading towards the door, she turned and looked at him.
She said, “Son, use your youthfulness wisely. I’m still here cleaning up your room at 85 years old because when I was your age, I didn’t make the right decisions.”
“[This advice] is simple and people hear it all the time, but it really resonated with me,” ONeal says, “Every decision I make is impacting my future self.”
So today, take a few moments and reflect on how your day-to-day decisions are shaping your future. It takes discipline and commitment to attain incredible success — in your chosen field and in life in general. And as difficult as it might be, it’s always wise to trade short-term pleasures for long-term rewards.
You must be willing to work relentlessly on your big goals and live like no one else, so that later you can live and give like no one else. As John Maxwell writes, “Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words… You are preparing for something. The question is, What are you preparing for? Are you grooming yourself for success or failure?… you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.”