“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
– Andy Warhol
Tomorrow will be the best day of your life
Today I want to keep my post short and sweet. That’s because I’m catching a bus to see the Nazca Lines in about half-an-hour and don’t have time to write anything serious.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about was progress.
If we wound the clocks back a year you’d see me in a totally different place. Somewhere kind of dark and depressing.
At the time I’d dropped out of college and was making $10 an hour putting pants on shelves.
All my friends were off chasing girls, partying, and having a grand old time. And I was miserable.
Every morning I got up before dawn, drove to my lousy job, and spent 10 hours in the back area stocking clothes. The company even had a little monitoring system so I couldn’t take breaks or slack off. That whole shift was spent working.
On top of this the only two days I got off were Tuesday and Sunday. I couldn’t go out on a Friday night or make plans for any weekend trips.
When I did occasionally go out on a Saturday I was so tired and down in the dumps that it was hard for me to socialize. I felt inferior to all my friends and would lash out.
It would be easy for me to sit here and complain about “poor labor laws” or “bad work conditions,” but all of this was on me. There was no one else to blame. At the time, however, my mindset sucked. I played the victim. Nothing was my fault and life had dealt me a bad hand.
Things went on sucking for a long time. Almost my entire fall was spent in misery and self-pity. Then I took action. Something snapped and I realized that I was in control. It happened one afternoon while driving home from work.
There was an epiphany. “Tomorrow will be the best day of your life” said a little voice in my head. “But you need to do some work to make sure it happens.”
I pulled over and took out a piece of paper, I always carry a pocket notebook, then I wrote:
“Goals: Move somewhere nice by 2014.”
That short sentence was a game changer. It gave all my rage and anger a target. Instead of spewing misery at the world I had something to focus on and push towards. Instead of sulking around I stayed up late to work on business projects. I wasn’t trapped forever due to some bad circumstances. There was an escape route and I could easily reach it.
Whining gave way to winning.
365 days later I’m as happy as a clam. My living room window looks out on the Pacific Ocean and rolling out of bed at 4:45 in the morning is a thing of the past.
In less time than it takes to get a college degree I turned my whole life around. Everything went from bitter and bleak to being a joy.
There are all kinds of horrible things that life throws at you. You contract some disease, lose all your money, get cheated on, the list is endless. All those things are terrible and ruin your day. But every problem can be fixed. Instead of wallowing in sorrow look for a solution.
Things can always get better and will turn around. You just have to allow them to.
As long as you’re willing to do some work and lay a foundation, tomorrow will always be the best day of your life.