“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” ~Og Mandino

When you walk sedately into your twilight years, you don’t want to carry along any sense of regret.  I recommend going there now and asking yourself what you’d love to cherish when you arrive there years from now. And then come back to today with a determination to make sure you accomplish all you want, so that your twilight years or your retirement years are filled with satisfaction and contentment.

Here are some ideas to contemplate so that no regret slips into your future.

Be Fully All That You Are. There is no need to costume yourself as anyone else. It is 100% acceptable to be only you. And why not? Everyone else is taken! Relinquish the idea that you have to be a certain way for someone else, because that’s just not true. If there is some other in your life who sits in harsh judgment of you, why do you tolerate them remaining there? You are not here to please anyone else – even your mighty parents – and it is okay for you to just be you. When you are you and only you, these others will eventually recognize just how great that is and that their ideas might have been suffocating you.

Dream Only Your Dreams. This goes along with the first idea. If you are fully being you, you are fully executing your own dreams, and not the aspirations others may have for you. You only have one life, so live it as you prefer. Create your own path and your own goals. Others might not be happy. They may give you a hard time about it. That’s good because it helps you strengthen your character. I knew that what I was doing for me was the right thing when I became so absorbed in my job, that I completely lost track of time. That is passion ignited.

Your Attitude Governs. Attitude arises from your habits, so decide what your attitude will be and then cultivate the habits to support that. And remember that your associates require some scrutiny, also. You don’t want people to pull you down with their bad habits and gloomy attitude, so be selective of your friends. You deserve to be happily supported.

Treat Others the Way You Like to Be Treated. As you move upward on your path to greater success, always remember what it was like to be a few rungs down, and treat those “below” you with respect and consideration. Be the boss who knows the name of the lowest employees. Show them the love you so enjoy yourself, so that it’s not only about you. You can decide now how you want folks to talk about you when you’re gone.

Be the Change. You all know how I love this theme. It is the theme for my own life, so of course I would strongly recommend that you be on the lookout for ways to change, to improve, to better yourself. To do this, you have to be willing and you have to let go of old ways of doing things. Once you understand embracing change, you’ll see how it moves you forward in an ever-increasing upward spiral.

Drop Back and Punt. In football, this means when you think you’re out of options, pick the least viable option and do it. Don’t give up ever. There is always some small forward step you can take. Look around for what you can learn and find that one last tiny step you can take. Those small steps do add up over time. Think of yourself as he/she-who-perseveres-no-matter-what.

Let Go of the Small Stuff. Life is infinite and it’s filled with an infinity of options. It is not humanly possible to handle all the options, so just handle the big chunks and allow the little pieces to fall between the cracks. If you handle the big stuff and some of the medium-sized stuff, you’ll be making enormous progress. Remember, you are looking at this from the tail end, so you can now understand how unimportant obsessing over the crumbs can be.

If You Aren’t Satisfied, It’s Not Enough. Don’t settle for any less-than solution just because it is the first one that presents itself. Ask yourself in the core of your being “Is this enough? Will I be satisfied if this is all I get?”  If you get a “No” answer, start looking for another option that offers you more. You need to know what satisfies you, and choose that. You deserve the whole tamale.

There’s Only Now. I was in a seminar where they spoke of ‘this right now moment. And this one. And this one.’  I realized that all I have is right now, and that tomorrow truly never comes because when I do get there, it’s yet another right now moment. So I decided to use each right now moment that I could to do the things I love to do, achieve what I wanted to contribute to the world, accomplish the goals I want, and to accept no lazy excuses because if I don’t do it for me, who will?

Now, you can go to your own end, look backward and then focus yourself forward. Piece of cake, eh?

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Comment by Maria Khalife on November 7, 2016 at 12:50pm

Hello, Ladies. This is Pat Matson, Maria's VA.  I do her posting here once a month and never see these comments. If it's at all possible, could you just email me? pat@patswritemind.com. I am now gathering up your requests to be sure what you need happens from today (11/7/16) forward. Thanks.

Comment by Kathy Custren on November 3, 2016 at 9:03pm

Hi, Ladies - I've forwarded this to the publishers for use in an upcoming edition, and will work on fixing any pronoun issues as we go. Thank you very much, Maria - also saw the recent note Regina left on the latest one ~ Thanks!

Comment by Lisa Shaw on October 17, 2016 at 8:04am

Hi, Maria.  Thanks for posting this valuable piece. Can you adjust the point of view to third person plural?  The magazine editors prefer this to first or second person. Thanks.

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