Most self-help advice focuses on the future – on what will be. Set goals. Plan ahead. Dream of where you wish you were instead of where you are.
Those are great ideas but let me share just one word of caution: don’t focus so intently on your future that you forget to be engaged right here, right now. This moment may never come again.
The importance of appreciating the moment is illustrated in the life of Wally Pipp, a man you probably won’t recognize unless you’re a major league baseball historian. Wally was the starting first baseman for the New York Yankees in the early 1920s. On June 2nd, 1925, Wally asked to skip the game because of a headache.
“I’ll be fine by tomorrow,” he told his manager.
There was just one problem: the player who took Wally’s place was Lou Gehrig, who went on to play a then-record 2,130 consecutive games over fourteen seasons and became one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.
This moment in your life may never come again. Your children are growing up right in front of you. Soak up every second you can with them. Be thankful for your marriage even though it isn’t perfect. And if your career isn’t where you’d like it to be, remember that today you create the rest of your tomorrows.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau: “Launch yourself on every wave and find eternity in each moment.”