What makes today any different?

- Private group -
January 1, 2014

Today is the first day of 2014 and like every other year, most of us make New Year's Resolutions on this day: promises to ourselves to better our lives and our health.

I find so much wrong with this way of thinking.

Why do we give so much importance to a single day? What about the other 364 days? Why can't we approach each of those days with the same determination that we approach our New Year's Resolutions? It is sadly inevitable that by the end of February most of these resolutions will be forgotten. Gym memberships going unused. Diets abandoned. Procrastination setting in once again.

One of the most important concepts in Zen is to focus on this moment, right now. We don't worry about the past, because its gone. We can't worry about the future, because it can not be promised. So we focus on this moment. Its the only one we have.

Also important is the act of following through on everything we do. A Chinese proverb says that "In a 100 mile march, 90 miles is the halfway point". Having the proper attitude to see things through is important. Setting small goals along the way can keep you marching toward your goal. But remember that these goals are just points along a greater path. Without the proper follow through, a victory on the battlefield can be rendered meaningless by a flaw in the peace agreement. A 300 yard tee shot in golf means little if you miss the 3-foot putt. A meticulously planned workout regiment accomplishes nothing when only done once a week.

I encourage everyone reading this to approach each day with the same determination and enthusiasm you have for today. You will be surprised as to what you can accomplish.

Focus on this step. Right now.