“Give us this day our daily bread.” Not the stale moldy old bread left out on the counter from yesterday or a supply of bread so that we don’t run out of it next year! Just, “Give us this day,” our daily bread!
This is pretty much the premise that Dale Carnegie starts off Part 1 Chapter 1 with in his book, “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living.” He talks about how it is better to deal with the things in our lives that are clearly at hand instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen in the distant future. Dale also tells us that the past needs to be left where it is, particularly the negative aspects of it.
“Now,” he isn’t suggesting in this chapter that we shouldn’t plan for the future. He’s not saying that at all! What he is clearly stating here is that if you carry the past with you, while being anxious about what tomorrow may or may not bring, you will have a tougher time doing that which you need to do, “Today!”
Why is this? Well… It’s because anger about the past or fear of what may happen will rob us of our energy and health.
So, how can we deal with our anxiety about the future? After all, there are things that we just have to get done, “Right?”
However, Mr. Carnegie points out that, if we go about our daily tasks in a frantic and disorganized way, we are likely to burn out before we accomplish much of anything. But, if we slow down a little and handle one thing at a time, before moving on to the next matter of importance in a relaxed fashion, the chances are pretty good that we are going to get a lot of things done. The beauty part in taking the relaxed approach to doing what we need to is that we can not only get things done without creating an environment of anxiety for ourselves. We can even get things done without stressing out the people around us!
Dale Carnegie tells us that, if we spend too much time living in the days past or the tomorrows ahead, we will miss the opportunities and joys we could otherwise be experiencing in the here and now. He illustrates this by giving examples of a few different people’s experiences. However, his meaning is plain.
There is only one day in reality that we can live and that is today. There is only one moment in time that we can do anything in and that is this moment.
It should be pointed out here that Dale never once said that we shouldn’t enjoy a happy memory, or, have dreams of what we want out of our future. All he’s really saying is that it is pointless to be upset about the past or future because we are only able to exist in the here and now!
He suggests that we live in what he calls, “Day Tight Compartments.” The idea here is that you picture yourself being in a compartment that is only comprised of the present. One part of the compartment cuts you off from the past and the other blocks out the future from your view.
Today is your day. What will you do with it?