The Time Is Now

UPDATED: May 22, 2023
PUBLISHED: June 5, 2008

In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact. Unfortunately, far too many people are allowing those opportunities to slip away without ever noticing them. Why? Because they either burn out, reach a plateau or find themselves stuck in a rut. Before they know it, minutes have turned into hours, hours into days, days into months, and months into years of lost chances. I call it “The Curse of the Comfort Zone.” It sounds like the title of a horror movie, but it’s a real-life epidemic that’s keeping many people from rising to greatness. Fortunately, there are solutions that will help you crown every day with that “first day” freshness, enthusiasm and determination.

Just for a moment, think back on some of the finest “first days” you’ve had in life; your first day on any job, at a new school, in a budding relationship. You could feel that adrenaline rush as you surveyed new opportunities and savored every magical moment. Your passion was to be the best and brightest and you made every effort to remember key details. You looked for opportunities to shine and be innovative. Unfortunately, as time passed, you may have lost some of your jump-start enthusiasm. Boredom replaced energy; clutter replaced fresh ideas and humdrum routines replaced creativity. You went from having pep in your step to not wanting to get out of bed.

Related: Hear Les Brown speak at the next SUCCESS Live event Sept. 8-9 in Long Beach. Get your tickets here.

How do you rekindle and keep that “first day” focus and enthusiasm? Consider these solutions:

Remember, every day is a gift to you.

The best gifts are those we not only cherish but put to use. Each day is a gift filled with opportunities to rise above fear, self-doubt and mediocrity to fulfill our purpose. Make each day count by setting specific goals to succeed, then putting forth every effort to exceed your own expectations.

Use the power you already have.

We were all born with a certain degree of power. The key to success is discovering this innate power and using it daily to deal with whatever challenges come our way. Don’t wait for others to open doors for you. People in the most-dire circumstances have found innovative ways to open doors to freedom, education and business success by creating their own force fields. Make a conscious effort to find your power source, use it to fuel your passion, and release the greatness within you.

Stay alert.

When you ignore new opportunities, you open the door to boredom, resulting in complacency and lack of growth. Open your eyes and see yourself as a go-getter with the power to turn “no” into a “yes.” Be determined to blaze trails that will take you where no one has gone before.

Determination finds many ways to succeed.

Many people become discouraged when they encounter difficulty in reaching their goals. However, most highly successful people didn’t reach their goals without obstacles. Their golden achievements came only after having doors closed in their faces, dreams derailed by mistakes and setbacks, and naysayers constantly telling them they weren’t good enough. However, the difference between those who have won and those who have thrown up their hands in defeat is often in the level of persistence. In tough times, the winners have drawn on that incredible resolve every human being possesses and stood firm against the odds. If you encounter a roadblock, think of a dozen ways to get around it and take action. Remember, there’s more than one road to success.

Improve yourself constantly.

As the global marketplace changes, we must stay abreast of what’s going on, and constantly improve our knowledge and skills to meet demands. Each day, make a commitment to be better, more knowledgeable, and more in touch than you were yesterday. Periodically enroll in classes or access self-help toolkits that will help you to improve yourself.

Actions for today and tomorrow.

Going forward, here are three steps to take in the next 48 hours that will help you treat each day like your first day in business:  At the end of each day, keep a journal of your accomplishments for that day and the things you need to improve. Pat yourself on the back for your good points and make immediate plans to improve any weaknesses you note. This will help you to stay focused on your goals and what you need to do to reach them.

As you begin each workday, see yourself as a true champion. Visualize yourself speaking positively and confidently, walking or sitting with good posture, remembering names and details, and receiving praise and rewards for your efforts.

Keep a highly visible plaque, picture or inspiring quote in your workplace that reminds you of your purpose and why your work is important. It should be a visual so powerful that it will inspire you each time you see it. This reminder will help you to maintain that fresh “first day” focus as you press toward your goals.

Related: Top of Mind: 7 Ways to Boost Self-Motivation

Les Brown is a world-renowned motivational speaker, TV personality and best-selling author of It’s Not Over Until You Win, Up Thoughts for Down Times and Fight For Your Dream, among others.