Yesterday was hard, but you survived. Today is a new day.
There are variations of this thought in my journal all the time. The Navy SEALs famously say, “The only easy day was yesterday.” While experience bears this out – every day presents new challenges and new skills to develop that would definitely have made yesterday somewhat easier in retrospect – sometimes yesterday just sucked and there’s no getting around it.
But… Yesterday is done; it’s officially history now. Even better, you survived and made it to today, so good job, you.
Now that yesterday’s ordeal is over, how can you improve today by applying something you learned yesterday?
If you deal with depression, surviving today could be as simple as deciding to keep living and to get out of bed. If that’s where you are, that’s solid work. Improving might be seeking out a counselor or going for a walk in the sun.
When your days are super hard, everything feels impossible, so just focus on doing 1% better today than you did yesterday. 1% isn’t that much. If you survived yesterday, chances are great that 1% more today will not kill you, either – and you’ll be a little better off. Just focus on one single thing you can improve on today and let yesterday go.
“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”Philippians 3:13-14
Paul reminded the Philippians that we have to let go of the past in order to move forward. Moving forward is far more important than looking back. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deal with your past and make peace with it; it just means that whatever your past holds, your present and your future depend on the actions you take today. Yesterday may still be delivering consequences today, but your actions today aren’t dependent on what you did yesterday.
Every action or inaction is a choice you’re making, no matter how intentional you are about those decisions. When you face today as a new set of decisions – each one an opportunity to be 1% better – it’s easier to not just survive but also grow.