in life

What You Couldn’t Do Yesterday

What are you doing today?

Could you do it yesterday? Were you prepared? Did you have the experience? The knowledge? The know-how to get it done?

Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Our lives are built by moments – the experiences, obstacles, accomplishments, and opportunities that help us to become who we are  and who we strive to be.

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the “trenches” of life. Fooling yourself into believing that you aren’t going anywhere. That you’re stuck. That today is no better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will likely leave you feeling the same as today.

But today is better, and tomorrow can be even better. Our experiences build upon one another. Our training culminates. The challenges you face may suck, but when overcome, leave you that much stronger. That much more prepared. More secure. More confident. More poised and ready for the next one.

18 months ago, I put on some crappy old Adidas basketball shorts and and old t-shirt, stepped outside, and decided I’d start running.

It wasn’t pretty.

It fact, it was downright ugly. A block or two after walking out the front door, I was spent. I was done. I was gasping for air. No endurance. No strength. No matter how much my mind wanted me to believe I could take a few more steps, my body wasn’t ready. At least, not yet.

A couple years ago I got fired from my job. Instead of looking for a new one, I decided to create my own. I barely knew what I was doing. I had no idea if it would work. Or if I’d get a single client.

It wasn’t pretty.

But I trained. I learned. I took on new challenges. I pushed myself harder each day. I did more. I worked hard. I didn’t take any shortcuts.

Last weekend I ran my first marathon. I felt guilty and upset when I hit the wall at 18 miles. That my body wouldn’t respond to my mind after 3 hours of running. 3 hours, when 18 months ago I couldn’t run for 3 minutes.

For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve ran my own business. I got my first client. Then another one. Then a lot more. And I haven’t looked back. I still worry about the future. I still wonder about the “next client”. I still second-guess myself.

But I know that I can do today what I couldn’t do yesterday. So can you. We fall into the trenches, unable to see the progress we’re making as we get caught up in the day to day.

But we are making progress. We are doing things we couldn’t do yesterday. We’re learning. We’re growing. Both the shittiest and the best experiences are still just that, experiences. One’s that help mold and shape you into the person you are.

Life is about progress. It’s about looking at today – the now – and embracing that this moment is THE moment.

Do today what you couldn’t do yesterday.

(Photo credit)

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  1. Hi Matt,
    Well said! Life is a learning curve and it’s only when we reach those temporary plateaus or times of celebrating our achievements that we realize how much fun there was in the learning! For me, at least, I forget all that while in the race. But I’m learning as you are, that this moment is king.

    • But I don’t think that celebration and happiness should only happen when we hit our goals – we should learn how to celebrate and cherish the moments between the monuments. It’s easier said than done, and requires effort, but life’s too short to spend working TO live, it should be the other way around.

  2. Beautifully said.  That’s one reason to keep a journal.  It’s not always easy to remember where we were, what intuition hit us along the way, and how much progress we truly have made.  Always a good thing to remember on a rainy day.

    • Exactly. One of the things I love about this blog is being able to go back and comb through the archives to see how I’ve evolved and grown over the past few years…

  3. Sometimes we forget about the progress we’ve made. It’s so easy to forget because we don’t celebrate each daily accomplishment. You went from running 3 minutes to 3 hours. That’s HUGE. They say in order to experience joy, you first need pain. Well, in order to understand how badass you are, you may want to think back on when you sucked at life. :P

    Nice post

  4. Matt 

    I think back to something I heard from on my show. Somebody told me to do a little bit more each month than the one before in terms of revenue. Momentum really does work. 

  5. Hi Matt,
    As u mentioned “the fire thing”, (I got fired 7 months ago, so depressed that searched online stuff about it and found your blog), I can’t help to say sth the benifits it’s brought to me.
    //Besides emotional control (got fired because I was too angry about new GM called her
    the past 6 months I’v formed seriously the habit of learning things everyday, every little things in every field, a new management tip, or photoshop skill, a new dancing step, etc. 
    //Can’t agree more the point This moment is THE moment, wanna add a little bit more: Embrace it with head and soul, think and feel.
    //Midnight here, dreaming time. Hope you got good rest after marathon.Good night!
    Thx matt, sincerely.

  6. Matt,

    Congrats on your recent finish in the marathon and best of luck in your future ones.

    Sometimes the removal of your “chicken gate,” in this case your job, only leaves you with one option and that’s to work your ass off. To your continued success my man.

    • Yep. I attribute much of where I am today to getting that unforeseen kick in the ass of losing my job a couple years ago. It’s been all uphill from there, with no signs of stopping!

  7. Love, love, love this! So true and so motivating. We often forget that life is a work in progress. If we could do everything right now, there’d be no point in the rest of the journey!