We were driving to the airport on Friday. My wife, daughter and me. Reviewing and reminiscing…planning and preparing. It’s always an interesting conversation – what have we done, enjoyed and remembered. What will we do next week, differently and deliberately.
My wife offered a quote. Well in truth my daughter did – but she had been given it by my wife. Both attributed it to Eleanor Roosevelt. I thought Eleanor Rigby – and started to sing the lyrics with perfect tone and timing (honestly) – but a genius song nevertheless.
I love great quotes. Eleanor Roosevelt gave us many great quotes. I frequently use quotations. A quote from someone wise or well known – or ideally both – has impact in a conversation. I always attribute quotes. My challenge is I remembering the quote and who said them. Anytime anyone gives me a quote I always take note.
“Take one day at a time” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Another great quote. My only problem? When I checked on line for the exact wording, I couldn’t find any evidence to suggest Eleanor actually said this. She said a great many inspiring and amazing things – on many and varied topics – just not this…
But Eleanor did say…
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
…which as I think about the words is ‘not dissimilar’ in intent to what both my girls were saying. We did the best we could today. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and tomorrow is our chance to do better. Take one day at a time…
The Big Picture. The long term vision. What we are trying to do, achieve or deliver in the future. We hear and see and talk about this big picture a great deal. We all do – at work, at home, at play. This longer term view is good and is important…but it can also sometimes become almost overwhelming. And often the simplest and best approach is for us to focus on one day – each day – at a time.
We savour today. Whatever we do we do it as best we possibly can. At work. At play. On vacation. We enjoy it – we feel proud and we feel happy. We celebrate. We are present. We take today.
And we do the same tomorrow…only better…in whatever way we possibly can. We avoid thinking about where we want to be at the end of the year, or quarter or even month. We focus on what we want to do – need to do – and achieve and enjoy today – and we do that. Today.
In either guise then, I think this is a great message – simple, true and powerful – like most great quotes. Like most Eleanor quotes.
The process of returning to work after a wonderful vacation can feel challenging. The process of starting a year of study at an oversees University can feel daunting. The process of returning to work after a wonderful vacation can feel challenging. Starting a new month when your revenue or sales return to zero. The process of starting a new role or a new job.
And so we take each day at a time. With energy and with commitment. Whatever we do, want to do, or are asked to do – we do it as best we possibly can. We start each day anew and we think afresh.
These are our choices to make each day. No-one else can tell us how we feel. No-one coaches us to not do our best.
And this is where and why Eleanor and her quotes are so often so good. No-one ever suggested Eleanor ‘lives in a dream’…