Each day neatly organizes itself into the representation of our life.

Today > Yesterday

Johnathon Strube

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We are all practitioners piecing together our craft — day after day after day after day after day after day.

Be better today than you were yesterday.

This is a mantra that I work to carry forward in my work and life. It is also a concept that I instill in my students. Today we have more knowledge, experience, and wisdom than yesterday. Tomorrow is yet to be seen, but we will tackle tomorrow with today's experience. In short — you know more today than you did yesterday.

Now, I know, conceptually, this sounds simple — but it’s not. So often, we get caught up in ourselves — our worries, doubts, insecurities, and fears. We let all these things slow us down. We allow them to alter the way we interact with people. We allow them to affect the way we react to challenges. And we allow them to represent our intentions.

Not to worry, these things are within our control; we need to do a few simple things. And, without even knowing it, you might be better today than yesterday.

  1. Take a deep breath: Find an internal space to calm your emotions and clear your head. Anything that needs intention needs your attention.
  2. Be patient: Not everything is going to be fixed, changed, or happen right now — accept this and focus on the elements that are within your control.
  3. Be silent: Clarify your thinking before you react or speak — emotions always cloud judgment.
  4. Listen: Learn as much as you can by absorbing facts about any given situation. Look for people who have traveled the path before you. What knowledge have they left behind?
  5. Access experience: Lean on choices that have helped you be successful in the past. This is where yesterday can come in handy.
  6. Be present: Don’t wander away — mentally or otherwise — stay focused. We live in a world of distraction. Don’t let others — human or otherwise hijack your abilities.
  7. Be honest: Tell the truth. Don’t create a false sense of intention or will toward others. It can be easy to get excited and promise things we can’t deliver.
  8. Be accountable: Do what you are capable of when you can do it. It’s OK to say NO if you know you will not be able to deliver.
  9. Be reasonable: We all want more than we need — accept moments and outcomes for what they are. As some wise person once said: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes — you might find — you get what you need.
  10. Proceed with grace and empathy: Be thankful, understanding, and compassionate in daily encounters. You never know what people are dealing with, just as they never know what you are carrying through your day.

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