Sunday, September 7, 2008

JWN: Today Matters

Today Matters

By: Joseph W. Norman

"One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming." - Benjamin Franklin

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. This is a maxim of John C. Maxwell's book, Today Matters. I picked this book up off a shelf in the rather eclectic library I've got in my apartment when I got back into town on Tuesday. It struck my fancy because it is a practice that makes sense to me and is one I need work on.

My tendency is to think too much, which leads me away from the simple action items that I need to take everyday to make my big thoughts a reality. Knowing this is a weakness of mine, I found myself gravitating towards Maxwell's Today Matters, a book I added to my small army of literature about a month and a half ago.

To be honest, I haven't gotten through the whole book yet but the message is really resonating with me. Maxwell breaks down life into twelve key decisions which we all have to make at some point. The thought is that the earlier you define these things for yourself, the longer they have to compound and manifest in your life!

You might be wondering, "How can the complexities of my life be broken down into twelve simple steps?" Well, I'll let you figure that out for yourself. Here are twelve questions which correspond to the decisions we all have to make:

Is your attitude a plus or minus today?

Are your priorities keeping you focused today?

Is your health enabling you to succeed today?

Does your family situation provide support today?

Is your thinking mature and productive today?

Have your commitments been kept today?

Have your financial decisions been solid today?

Has your faith been active today?

Are your relationships being strengthened today?

Has your generosity added value to others today?

Are your values giving you direction today?

Is your growth making you better today?

As you can see, the twelve decisions we make relate to our attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values, and growth. If you define how you want to approach these key tenants of life, then you give yourself the gift of creating your own reality. That sounds a little bit heavy, so let’s break it down further.

If you decide that you are going to keep a positive attitude and use it to influence others, then you create a whole new world of possibilities for yourself. In addition, with your finances, you can make the decision to sacrifice today in order to have options tomorrow. This is American’s greatest lost art, saving. Both are choices you make everyday which have a dramatic impact on your tomorrow.

My challenge to you is to think carefully about how you approach these twelve parts of your life. If you do it right, you will only have to make that decision once. Then you can let it guide your daily agenda with a series of simple disciplines you create for yourself. Now, I’d like to finish with the poem which Maxwell starts his book with:

Just for today…

Just for today…I will choose and display the right attitudes.

Just for today…I will determine and act on important priorities.

Just for today…I will know and follow healthy guidelines.

Just for today…I will communicate with and care for my family.

Just for today…I will practice and develop good thinking.

Just for today…I will make and keep proper commitments.

Just for today…I will earn and properly manage finances.

Just for today…I will deepen and live out my faith.

Just for today…I will initiate and invest in solid relationships.

Just for today…I will plan for and model generosity.

Just for today…I will embrace and practice good values.

Just for today…I will seek and experience improvements.

Just for today…I will act on these decisions and practice these disciplines, and

Then one day…I will see the compounding results of a day lived well.

Success is a choice made daily my friends. So, make it a great day!

Joseph W. Norman, resides in Macedon, NY, and is Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Notable and Newsworthy and Editor of The VIP Profiles. He is currently a full time real estate investor and founding partner of Nor-Walk Enterprises. (

He can be reached at or 607.743.8569.