Living One Day At A Time

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I know people who are almost always confused. Who can't seem to align their goals and plans with reality. They make living a lot hard for themselves. It's not that they are trying to do some impossible thing or trying to live a superhuman life. Their goals are sort of the regular ones people make, and their plans are good and logical. But somehow they always feel overwhelmed.

I consider myself one of the few lucky people who seldom get overwhelmed. Maybe when I get married I will lose that luck. And that's the main reason I have to make this post now. When it's easier to live what I preach.

So how do you stop getting overwhelmed by regular issues of life?
Live one day at a time.


Living one day at a time is simply having all your life goals and plans broken down to manageable daily tasks, and never worrying about how you did yesterday or going to do tomorrow.

It takes a lot of practice and frustrating failures to become very good at living one day at a time. And that's where the bulk of my luck lies. Being an extreme introvert made me very individualistic and a planning-freak. Ever since I was 8 years old, I have been planning every single day of my life. I love monotony. Things happening in the same sequence every day. And I recently started to break free from some of the embarrassing ones: eating same thing for lunch every (week) day. But the good side is that I succeeded in breaking all my plans into manageable daily actions that I turn to habit. Like blogging daily. I seldom experience a bad day. I do get a hectic day or a boring day, but hardly a bad day. Because a bad day will mean a day I didn't achieve my daily goals, goals I have turned into habits. Some are as sticky as the habit of brushing daily. Just the same way I wouldn't eat or step out of the house without brushing my teeth, I wouldn't sleep at night if I hadn't written a blog post. 

Living one day at a time starts with a deep soul search. Finding what really matters to you. Then having a life goal. Or life goals. But I think everyone should have one life goal. If you think hard enough you will find the one thing all your goals have in common, then weave your ultimate life goal from it. 

Next step is having a detailed always-in-progress life plan. A plan so well made you can break it down to daily actions/goals. Once in a while, you do a major review. But the key point is breaking it down into daily actions. Then you can begin to live one day at a time. Because each day is now a part of something much bigger, and everyday you achieve your simple daily goals you are achieving your life goal. The other cool thing about this is that it's not possible to end up with overwhelmingly crazy daily goals. There's no way one life goal can be broken down into anything but simple easy daily goals. It's people with confused life goals, people who have a list of a 1000 things they want to do before they die; they are the ones with complex daily goals. They want to learn 10 languages, visit all the countries in the world, visit the moon, have 2 boys and 2 girls, own a private island, shake hands with Bill Gates, be a celebrity... To me, they don't have a life goal; just childhood dreams.

And then there are those who have read too many motivational books. Books written by people who write books and give talks for a living. They become obsessed with figures. They'll say their life goal is to retire at 45. Or to have a billion naira by age 50. Or to be a CEO by 40. I really don't know how someone made in God's image will think that the purpose for his living is to retire at age 45. Is he telling God to kill him at age 45? 

Don't have a life goal that is tied to a figure: age or money. What will happen when you pass that age or you make the money? No more life goal. That's not a life goal. When you have a goal like that, you'll become obsessed with "how much time do I have?", "I need to do more." There'll be no way you can fully enjoy a day, detached from yesterday or tomorrow. 

Living one day at a time will require you to let go of yesterday. Whether you failed at your daily goals or succeeded is no longer relevant once it's a second past midnight. It's a new day and a new sheet. You simply live fully each day, detached from yesterday. And if you have a true life goal, your daily goals will be so easy that you wouldn't need to try to do tomorrow's just to free up time or make tomorrow easier. You will live today with little worry for tomorrow.

And that's what it means to live one day at a time.


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