Norton: It’s not about yesterday, it’s not about tomorrow, it’s about today
OK, so maybe we can reflect on our yesterdays. And yes, it’s awesome to dream about our tomorrows. But right now, it is about today. It is about this moment that you are reading this column. This is for you and about you. I am not writing about your neighbor, your friend, your coworker, or your family — today I am writing about you.
Paying it forward is not just a cliché or “nice” sentiment or feeling. In our world today it is one of the best things that we can do for each other.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What can I do today to help someone else?” Or is the talk track in your brain, “What can I do for myself today?” Or maybe, “How can someone else help me today?” When we become “Me” focused and not “Us” focused we tend to start down the slippery slope of negativity and our overdeveloped strengths of survival of the fittest becomes a weakness.
Stay with me as I share this real story. Main streets everywhere have already had enough competition from online shopping. But the spirit of the entrepreneur is resilient. Many have stayed the course and offer our towns a place to walk, shop, say hello to friends, and just appreciate each other. That was pre-pandemic. Now, all are trying to offer curbside pick-up, or online ordering and shopping.
Recently, one particular storefront suffered some damage due to a straight-line wind that roared through the town. Some argued it was a tornado. When the storm subsided the awning of this storefront was broken. The owner was unable to repair it on her own. So, she called the local awning company business who has been around for decades. The owner of the company took the call. And within 15 minutes came to the shop.
He assessed the situation and realized that he could make the repair without replacing the entire awning. After working through it a few times, he finally secured the awning and made it look like new. The shop owner asked, “How much do I owe you?” And the gentleman said, “Nothing, you people on Main Street have enough to deal with. This one is on me.”
You see, it’s not about yesterday. It’s not about tomorrow. It’s about today. It’s about right now and how we can help one another. It’s about giving others hope and encouragement. It’s about giving a hand up, not just a handout. It’s about doing the right thing when no one else is watching. And we call that integrity. I happened to be on the scene when the awning was repaired. I saw it firsthand. I observed kindness, goodness, and integrity during this challenging time.
So, when we think about our lessons from our past, and anchor ourselves in our beliefs and values, we can position ourselves to live today and serve today in such a way that helps others. When we plan for our tomorrows and dream our dreams, those dreams will be based on what we are currently doing today. It is about right now, it is about this minute when we are all reading this column, it is about today and what we will do with each day we are given.
“You can have everything in life that you want, just as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar
So how about you? Are you living in the past? Are you living in the uncertain future? Or are you living in the moment, living today? I really would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can repair the awnings of someone else’s shop, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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